Serve this super-creamy chocolate dessert on its own, or as part of an 'assiete' of mini chocolate puddings
- 568ml pot double cream
- 100g Green & Black's white chocolate, broken into pieces
- 1 vanilla pod, split or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, plus extra for topping
MethodTake off the heat and allow to infuse for 10 mins, scraping the pod seeds into the cream. If using the vanilla extract, add straight away. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3.
- 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp custard powder
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 200ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 125ml single cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 140g half-fat crème fraîche
- Stir 2 tbsp of the sugar, the custard powder and cornflour in a medium bowl with 2 tbsp of the milk to make a smooth paste. Beat in the egg yolks with a fork until well combined. Pour the remaining milk into a pan, preferably non-stick, then pour in the cream. Slit the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the milk. Drop the pod into the pan and bring the creamy milk just to the boil – as soon as you see a few bubbles rising to the surface, remove from the heat.
- Slowly pour and stir the hot milk into the cornflour mix, including the vanilla pod, making sure the yolks are well blended in. Transfer to a clean pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, for about 15-20 mins until the mixture is very thick – when you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan, it should leave a clean line. It should be much thicker after about 10 mins, but keep stirring until the mixture has thickened sufficiently to look like softly whipped cream or mayonnaise. Keep adjusting the heat so that the mixture does not come to the boil or overheat, as it may curdle and become lumpy. If this happens, beat the mixture smooth with a wire whisk.
- Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Remove the vanilla pod. Stir in the crème fraîche and divide the mixture between 4 small ramekins (about 125-150ml capacity each). Spread the mixtures level, then chill, uncovered, overnight. By not covering them, a thin skin can form on top of the brûlées, which will help support the caramel layer.
- Before serving, spoon the remaining sugar over the top of each brûlée (allow 1½ tsp per ramekin) and smooth over with the back of the spoon. To caramelise, use a blowtorch. Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep it moving until evenly caramelised (don’t take too long or you will heat up the custard too much). If the custard looks as though it has softened slightly, put the ramekins in the fridge for 5-10 mins to firm it up again. Serve while the caramel is still brittle.
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
- 568ml carton double cream
- 9 large egg yolks (use whites for meringue)
- 175g golden caster sugar, plus about 3 tbsp for the topping
- 250g blackberries
- Up to 36 hours ahead - put the split vanilla pod and cream in a heavy saucepan and gently bring to simmering point. Whisk as soon as the first bubbles start to rise, then remove the pan from the heat and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes.
- Fish out a half-pod from the cream and hold it over the pan, then use the tip of a small knife to scrape the black seeds inside into the pan. Repeat with the other pod, then whisk to disperse the seeds.
- Meanwhile,whizz the egg yolks and sugar in a food processor for 2-3 minutes until thick and creamy. Scrape the mixture into the cream and stir to combine. Place the pan over a medium heat and gently whisk constantly until the custard has thickened considerably and is on the point of boiling (when the first few bubbles break through the surface).
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and plunge the base into a sink of ice-cold water. Continue to gently whisk for 1-2 minutes, or until most of the heat has dissipated. Leave to cool, whisking occasionally to prevent a skin forming.
- Meanwhile, place six little heatproof dishes, about 10cm in diameter and 2.5cm deep (see tip), on a tray that will fit in the fridge. Divide the blackberries among them, then cover with the cool custard and chill until firmly set. Loosely drape with cling film over to cover.
- An hour or so before serving - if you don’t have a blow torch to brûlée the custard, use a very hot grill. Sprinkle a thin, even layer of sugar over each dish then, if using a blow torch, carefully ‘burn’ the sugar, starting on the nearest side: the sugar will bubble and turn a dark caramel. Wait for a few minutes for the surface to harden before serving but DO NOT be tempted to touch as the sugar remains blisteringly hot for some while. Alternatively, put the ramekins on a baking sheet close to the grill until the sugar caramelises. Keep them cool until ready to serve, but not in the fridge or the caramel will soften.