I simply cannot round off France without my favorite dessert in the world. At restaurants, I always get crème brulee if it’s on the menu. My twist to this French classic with vanilla bean & caramelized sugar is a hint of saffron & cardamom. As fancy as the dessert itself seems.. it really is quite simple to make.
The catch is to make sure the water bath is 3/4th or higher up the sides of the ramekins and of course using that special tool – a small butane kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar. But if you do not have a torch there is no need to stress out.. The oven broiler will also work!!
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
- 5 egg yolks
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup fine white sugar
- 6 Saffron threads
- 2 cardamom
- ½ teaspoon salt
In a saucepan, add cream and heat on low until just hot. While heating split the vanilla bean, extract vanilla and add to the cream along with saffron threads & salt. Open cardamom pods to get the seeds. Lightly pound and add to the cream. The key is to get the mixture to near boil. Let sit for a few minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat yolks and sugar together until sugar is completely dissolved. Slowly pour mixture into cream while stirring to combine well. Pour the mixture into ramekins and place in a baking dish. Fill baking dish with boiling water upto 3/4th up the sides of the ramekins.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until centers are barely set. I give the ramekins a little jiggle. The crème should wobble a little similar to jello. Set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate overnight.
When ready to serve top the Crème with a thin layer of white sugar.
Using a butane torch melt the sugar until brown.
If you do not have a butane torch, set the oven to broil and place ramekins in the oven for up to 10 minutes or until the sugar is caramelized.