Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Crème brûlée

10 September 2012
Seasonal Recipe of the Week – Crème brûlée

(Serves four)

For the crème brûlée
500ml double cream
8 medium egg yolks
90g caster sugar
1.5 leaves bronze leaf gelatine
1 vanilla pod

For the garibaldi biscuit
50g currants
1tbs milk
25g butter
100g self-raising flour
A pinch of salt
25g sugar

For the caramel
500g sugar

For the raspberry coulis
200g strawberries, hulled and cut in half
200g raspberries
25g icing sugar

For the crème brûlée
Split the vanilla pod and put in a pan with the cream, heat gently to a light simmer. Bloom gelatine in cold water. Cream the egg yolks and caster sugar together with a whisk. Pour the cream and vanilla mixture over the egg and sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Add the gelatine and put back on a low heat. Continuously stirring gently, bring the custard mixture up to 82°C. Pass through a fine sieve. Line eight 5cm diameter rings with acetate, stretch clingfilm across the bottoms and place on a flat tray. Divide the custard mixture into the lined rings and chill for three hours.

For the garibaldi biscuit
Dice the butter and place in a Kitchen Aid with the flour, salt and sugar, mix with a paddle until breadcrumb consistency. Add the milk and mix until a smooth pastry consistency is achieved. Roll out the pastry into a rectangle around 0.5cm thick. Cover half of the rectangle with currants, fold over the other half so that the currants are sandwiched between two layers of pastry. Lightly roll so that it is around 0.75cm thick. Cut into 7cm x 7cm squares and place on a lined baking tray. Brush with milk and caster sugar and bake in a preheated oven at 165°C for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

For the caramel
Make a direct caramel till golden. Take off the heat and pour on to a Silpat mat. Once cool, blitz the caramel into a powder. Using a 10cm diameter round stencil, pass the caramel powder through a fine sieve on to the stencil, on to a Silpat mat. Repeat this eight times. Put into a preheated oven at 180°C for two minutes. Keep the disks in a sealed container with silica gel if not using straight away.

For the raspberry coulis
Heat the strawberries and raspberries in a large pan for four to five minutes or until they start to break down. Add the icing (or caster) sugar and continue to cook the fruit for a further two to three minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the coulis mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water to the mixture if it proves necessary to loosen pieces. Strain the coulis through a sieve and set aside to cool. Chill in the fridge until needed.

To plate up
Take the clingfilm off the custard and push out of the ring on to the centre of a plate. Peel off the acetate. Place a caramel disk on top of the custard mix and gently heat with a blowtorch until it melts around the custard mix. Place strawberry halves and raspberries around the base of the brûlée and coat these in strawberry coulis. Cut the garibaldi biscuits into 1cm fingers and place two on each plate. Finish the garnish with lemon balm leaves and viola flowers.

Creme brulee (Credit Angus Bremner)
Creme brulee (Credit Angus Bremner)

Neville Merrin, head chef, Roxburghe hotel, Kelso

Photo by Angus Bremner


richard rotti
richard rotti
Merrin's execution of this classic dish requires a robust but not sickly sweet dessert wine with sufficient acidity to balance its rich, creamy texture. Sauternes would be the easy option but I would veer toward something with a greater aromatic lift, such as Jurançon. Yapp Bros of Mere in Wiltshire, provide such a wine in the shape of Domaine Bellegarde's, Jurançon Moelleux, a very useful bottle, as it happens to also pair up well with foie gras! An assembly of Gros and Petit Manseng provide an alluring pineapple and grapefruit bouquet and a luscious, honeyed palate underscored by fine acidity.
Richard Rotti, group wine buyer, Caprice Holdings

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