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My Golden Pear: August 2012

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


I love desserts!  Do I have a favourite?  Without a doubt it would have to be Creme Brulee or the Spanish equivalent - Crema Catalana.  Once you have tapped into the thin crispy caramel topping you have the silky smooth custard underneath.  Absolute perfection.  I find the Spanish version slightly easier to make because they add cornflour which helps to set the custard.  The only downside to making this dessert is you do need a cook's blowtorch to caramelise the topping. The caramelisation process has to be really quick so that you don't heat up the custard underneath (this would make it too runny) and I have never found a household grill hot enough to do this.  Both my Mum and I are dedicated to our Brulees and have stepped up a notch and use plumbing torches - perfect brulee in seconds.  The custard base can be made 1 to 2 days in advance but once you caramelise the topping it cannot go back in the refrigerator and needs to be eaten within half and hour or so.  This is a really easy recipe which has never failed me.  The last thing I need to say is please don't miss out the step of straining the custard.  Even if you have made a perfect, lump free custard you still need to strain out the lemon zest to get that silky smooth result.

Prep time: 45 mins plus chilling time
Total time: 45 mins plus chilling time

Yield: 4 - 6 servings depending on your dish size

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 4 tsp cornflour
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 568 ml carton double cream
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick broken in half
  • extra caster sugar for the topping

Cooking Directions
  1. Put the cream, milk, zest and cinnamon in a pan and heat gently until it reaches boiling point. Remove from the heat.
  2. Mix the caster sugar and the cornflour in a bowl.
  3. Stir in the egg yolks until smooth - do not whisk or the mixture will form a froth.
  4. Pour the cream mixture onto the egg mixture, stirring to combine well.
  5. Rinse out the pan and return the mixture to it.
  6. Stir over a low heat for 5 minutes until thickened.
  7. Set aside for 30 minutes to infuse and thicken further.
  8. Strain into a large jug and pour into your serving dishes. Cover with cling wrap and chill overnight or longer to set.
  9. Just before serving - sprinkle some caster sugar evenly over the top of the custards and caramelise quickly with a cooks blowtorch.
  10. As the caramel cools, it will harden.
  11. Eat within half an hour but do not chill in the refrigerator as this will cause the caramel to soften.
Written by : Angela Darroch