Spiced Strawberry Crème Brûlée. The custard is flavoured with golden syrup, cinnamon, ginger and all other kinds of spices, and at the bottom sits a layer of strawberry jam and a little bit of brandy. And of course that thin, glossy layer of caramelised sugar on top that makes the perfect, satisfying crack as your spoon breaks through it. It wasn't too shabby considering the crazy, messy path I took to end up there.
crème brûlées a little. Or a lot. And I barely chilled them, so the ones you see in the pictures are no where near as set as they should be. But they tasted oh so delightful, and all those beautiful spices made the mixture extra delicious (though the spices do make the custard look a little ugly and brown). Digging a little deeper gets you that hit of strawberry jam goodness, which would taste just as great if you substituted it with cherry jam, or marinated some freshly chopped strawberry pieces in some sugar and brandy overnight. The possibilities are endless.
Recipes Index. I'd definitely like to see a few more Gingerbread Igloos this year.
Spiced Strawberry Crème Brûlée
(adapted from this rhubarb and vanilla creme brulee recipe, makes approx 6)
430ml (about 1 1/2 cups) whipping cream (35% fat pouring cream)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways (can be replaced with 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 egg yolks
75g (1/4 cup) golden syrup (replace with 75g sugar if unavailable)
About 2/3 cup strawberry jam mixed with 1 tbsp brandy (optional) - alternatively chop up 1 punnet strawberries and marinate overnight in 2 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp brandy (optional)
Caster sugar for burning
Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Place cream in a small saucepan, scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the cream and add the bean, cinnamon, ginger and all spice. Bring to the boil over high heat. As soon as it boils, remove from the heat and set aside for about 10 minutes.
Spoon about 1 tbsp of the strawberry jam & brandy mixture into the bottom of 6 1/2 cup ramekins and then add the warm custard mixture over the top until full. Place ramekins in a deep baking tray and pour in enough water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes, or until just set. Remove from the oven and cool, then chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Spoon about 2 tsp of caster sugar over each ramekin and caramelise the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch, or with your grill. Serve immediately.