The flavour of this crème brûlée is entirely through the fresh cinnamon powder and vanilla pod. Make sure to use a heavy vanilla pod for the best results – we’ve found smaller pods result in a very weak vanilla flavour, because they’ve grown on the vine for much less time. Longer, heavy beans are the result of proper, caring growth and not early picking.
Recipe: Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée
1. Combine the milks and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Heat mixture over medium heat until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil), stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the milk overboil.
2. Remove milk mixture from heat. Cover and let the vanilla pod infuse for 30 minutes. Then scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture, then remove the vanilla pod skin. (Vanilla pod skin can used by letting it dry and then leaving it in your sugar jar to make vanilla sugar!)
3. Next, preheat your oven to 300°F.
4. Combine 30 grams sugar, the cinnamon powder, egg yolks, and pink salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
5. Gradually add milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Strain mixture through a sieve and discard the leftover solids.
6. Divide the mixture evenly among 4 small ramekins (roughly 100ml capacity). Place ramekins in a large, deep baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. This will help give even heat to the custards.
7. Bake at 300°C for 25 minutes or until center barely moves when ramekin is touched. Remove ramekins from the pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
8. Sift 15 grams sugar evenly over each custard. Then, hold a kitchen blow torch about 2 inches from the top of each custard and torch the sugar, rapidly moving the blow torch back and forth, until sugar is completely melted and caramelized (about 1 minute).
9. Serve crème brûlée immediately!
If you don’t have a blowtorch for the “brûlée” aspect, don’t worry – after coating the crème with sugar ready for torching, place the ramekins under a grill heated to the hottest temperature possible. Grill for about 2-4 minutes, and take care – the longer you grill for, the more risk that the crème gets heated up too. Your aim is to burn the sugar, but leave the crème cool.