Last Saturday I tuned in for my weekly dose of Ms. Lawson and they aired one of her Christmas episodes – which I confess to have seen three times already, without an ounce of guilt; she got me into holiday spirit even more with her delicious food. My holiday recipe series continues and after the spiced brigadeiros I present you eggnog brûlée.
Don’t be surprised by the hard caramel crust on top of the dessert: I don’t own a torch and therefore tried Donna Hay’s hint of running a hot spoon over the sugar topping; that failed miserably, but I was decided to have a brûlée topping no matter what – even if I had to make some caramel on the side and pour over the custard. It was a matter of honor, after all. :)
from Donna Hay magazine
2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons brandy
5 egg yolks
¼ cup + ½ tablespoon (56g) caster sugar
1/3 cup (66g) caster sugar, extra
Preheat the oven to 150°C/330°F. Place the cream, vanilla seeds and bean, cinnamon and brandy in a saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a boil.
Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Discard the vanilla bean and cinnamon sticks and slowly pour the cream mixture over the egg mixture, whisking well to avoid cooking the eggs.
Return to the saucepan and stir over low heat for 6-8 minutes or until the custard thickens and coats the back of a spoon – do not let boil. Pour the custard into four ½ cup (120ml) capacity ovenproof dishes and place in a deep baking dish. Pour enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 15-20 minutes or just until set. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool completely then refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
Top each brûlée with the extra sugar and gently run a hot metal spoon* or brûlée blow torch over the top until sugar caramelizes – since I don’t own a torch and the spoon-technique failed, I prepared some caramel and poured over the set custard.
* the spoon might get permanently tarnished