Creme Brulee, with the infused flavour of lavender and vanilla, makes a delicious creamy desert and it really is very straightforward. Just remember it needs to be left overnight so start to prepare the day before you want to eat it!
- 600ml (1 pint) double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split or 2.5ml vanilla essence
- 15ml culinary lavender grains
- 4 large egg yolks
- 125g caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the vanilla and lavender grains then slowly bring to the boil. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the tablespoon of sugar, then add the infused cream and mix thoroughly. Strain into a jug, then pour into 6 ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin with hand-hot water to halfway up the side of the ramekins. Bake at 150°C (300°F) Mark 2 for 30 – 35 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate overnight.
Melt the remaining caster sugar in a small, heavy based saucepan over a low heat; do not stir. When a pale syrup begins to form, rotate the pan gently until it has all dissolved. Increased the heat a little and cook to a rich, chestnut brown, this will only take a few seconds so keep a close watch! Pour immediately onto a lightly oiled baking tray and allow to cool until set hard. Crush the caramel into a fine powder using a rolling pin or food processor.
Spoon the crushed caramel over each custard to make a thin, even layer. Cover the custard completely. Place under a very hot grill for about 30 seconds until the caramel melts and the surface is smooth. Leave in a cool place (not the fridge) for up to an hour before serving.
Lavender and raspberries are a great combination, so why not try adding a thin layer of fruit to the bottom of the ramekins before adding the infused cream.