- 500ml Double Cream
- 125ml Whole milk
- 1 vanilla pod
- 5 large egg yolks
- 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra for the topping
- Preheat the oven to fan 160C.
- Sit four ramekins in a deep roasting tin (or a large deep cake tin) – one that will enable a baking tray to sit well above the ramekins when laid across the top of the tin.
- Pour the cream into a medium pan with the milk.
- Lay the vanilla pod on a board and slice lengthways through the middle with a sharp knife to split it in two – mind your fingers!
- Use the tip of the knife to scrape out all the tiny seeds into the cream mixture. Drop the vanilla pod in as well, and set aside.
- Put the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for about 1 minute with an electric hand whisk until paler in colour and fluffy.
- Put the pan with the cream on a medium heat. As soon as you see bubbles appear round the edge, take the pan off the heat.
- Pour the hot cream into the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a wire whisk, scraping out the seeds from the pan.
- Set a fine sieve over a large wide jug or bowl and pour the hot mixture through to strain it, encouraging any stray vanilla seeds through at the end. Using a big spoon, scoop off the foam that is sitting on the top of the liquid.
- Stir the mixture.
- Pour in enough hot water, into the roasting tin to come about 1.5cm up the sides of the ramekins.
- Pour the hot cream into the ramekins so you fill them up right to the top – it’s easier to spoon in the last little bit.
- Put them in the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top of the tin so it sits well above the ramekins and completely covers them, but not the whole tin, leaving a small gap at one side to allow air to circulate.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is softly set – To check, gently sway the roasting tin and if the creme brûlées are ready, they will wobble a bit like a jelly in the middle.
- Lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin with oven gloves and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes only, then put in the fridge to cool completely.
- When ready to serve, wipe round the top edge of the dishes, sprinkle caster sugar over each ramekin and spread it out with the back of a spoon to completely cover
- Spray with a little water using a fine spray to just dampen the sugar – then use a blow torch to caramelise it.
- Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep moving it round and round until caramelised. Serve when the brûlée is firm, or within an hour or two.