Ginger crème brûlée

Posted on December 30, 2013

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I’m feeling sufficiently bad for having only posted once this month. What can I say? Life has a habit of getting in the way. And it’s December; we all know how mad the festive season can get! Anyway I’m finally back to make amends and close the year with this final post. It only seems fair that I close it with a recipe that has been on my mind for a little while. So I’d already revealed that I love custards, then I found arguably the perfect crème brûlée – the ginger crème brûlée from Bourke Street Bakery. It really was only a matter of time before I tried to make a version of it myself.

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This isn’t the version from the Brouke Street Bakery cookbook. In fact it’s not even in a tart form, it’s just a crème brûlée recipe that I added ginger into. So I’m not exactly trying to replicate the tart, rather I’m drawing inspiration from it. Oneee day I may actually attempt the proper recipe, and if I do, I’ll make sure to write about it. But until then, I’m more than satisfied with this ginger crème brûlée.

This is a great marriage of flavours; the spicy warmth of the ginger is a lovely contrast to the mellow smoothness of vanilla crème. I used a mix of thickened cream and double cream in this recipe, so the average milk fat content used is about 40%. There are different varieties of creams on the market and you could substitute for other creams (ie. pure cream/dollop cream), but to achieve this level of richness, I would recommend ensuring the average milk fat content being used exceeds 35%. Being a bit of a ginger lover, I used quite a bit of it to ensure the flavour carries throughout the custard. Also since you don’t actually cook the ginger with the crème, it needs to be left overnight in the fridge to allow the flavours to infuse before the ginger fibers are strained out. It’s a bit long winded to do it this way, but it’s how you can achieve good flavour throughout without compromising the velvety smoothness of the custard.

IMG_7967RECIPE – Ginger crème brûlée (makes 6)

Ingredients:

  • 7 egg yolks
  • 300mL thickened cream (~33% milk fat content)
  • 300mL double cream (~50% milk fat content)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • ~4cm piece of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • extra sugar to create the brûlée (dermerara sugar is usually the sugar of preference for this step, but regular sugar or brown sugar are also fine)

Method:

  1. Finely grate ginger.IMG_7853
  2. Place thickened cream, double cream, sugar, grated ginger, ground ginger and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat to a gentle simmer then remove and allow to cool. Place flavoured cream into fridge and allow to infuse for at least 3-4 hours (best overnight).
  3. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  4. After flavours have infused, bring flavoured cream back to a simmer.
  5. While the cream is heating up, whisk egg yolks in a medium sized bowl until pale and creamy.
  6. In a slow and steady stream, add heated cream into the egg yolks and continually whisk to combine.
  7. Strain custard to remove ginger fibers and any air bubbles. Divide custard evenly into individual ramekins and cover them with a piece of foil.
  8. Place ramekins into a deep baking tray with a tea towel on the base. Pour just boiled water into the baking tray so that the water level reaches halfway up the ramekins.
  9. Place baking tray into oven and bake for ~45 minutes or until custard is just set. Allow custard to cool completely before placing into refrigerator to chill through.
  10. To serve, sprinkle ~1/2 tablespoon of sugar on top of the chilled custards and caramelise with brûlée blow torch until a hard crust forms. If a harder sugar crust is desired, repeat this step. (I always do a double sugar crust – you only live once!). If you do not have a brûlée blow torch, you can always put your sugared crème under a hot grill to create the brûlée.IMG_7963

That crack of the brûlée is music to my ears.

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The crème is rich, luscious and spiked with delicious gingery notes. Perfect celebratory dessert for new years :). Hope you have a fabulous new years and may 2014 bring you love, laughter, happiness and good health.

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