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Vanilla crème brûlée

Who better to teach us how to create this classic French dessert than the MasterChef himself, Michel Roux Jr?

  • Prep: 20 mins
    Cook: 30 mins
    Plus cooling
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Ingredients

  • 250ml double cream
  • 75ml full-fat milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus 3-4 tbsp for the topping
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ sheet of puff pastry
  • ½ egg, beaten
  • finely chopped almonds
  • icing sugar

Tip

Almond puff pastry sticks
Heat oven to 190c/170C fan/ gas 5. Roll out half a sheet of puff pastry to 3mm thickness, brush with half a beaten egg and sprinkle with finely chopped almonds. Using a long sharp knife, cut strips of pastry 12mm wide and 10cm long. Twist 5 times and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, then dust with icing sugar and serve warm with the crème brûlée.

Method

  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Put the cream, milk and vanilla pod into a pan and heat to boiling point. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 mins. Whisk the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of sugar together until pale and thick. Add the vanilla extract and pour the boiling cream onto the mixture. Stir well, then pour into two ramekins. Place the ramekins in a bain marie and cook in the oven for about 20 mins or until just set. Leave to cool.

  2. Heat the grill. Sprinkle the cold brûlée with a thin, even layer of sugar, and caramelise under the very hot grill (or use a blowtorch). Repeat several times until you have a golden crackling topping. Leave to cool and serve within 2 hrs with warm Almond puff pastry sticks (see below).

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