Saturday, August 26, 2006

From My Rasoi #8

Katherine from Toastpoint is hosting this month's From My Rasoi and she issued an Indian dessert challenge.

I decided to meld two cuisines - inspired by the flavourings of Chai (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla) I've infused them into a traditional French Crème Brûlée to create a Chai Spiced Brûlée.

This Brûlée would be enough for two - I've presented it in a single dish as I think the nicest part of an Indian meal is the sharing of dishes and this really shouldn't stop when it comes to dessert.


Chai Spiced Brulee

250mls cream
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon honey
brown sugar, for topping

In a small pan, place the cream, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick, ground nutmeg and vanilla extract (if you are using vanilla bean paste you will add it later).

Under a very gentle heat slowly let this come to near boiling point, stirring to ensure the spices are mixing through. When it reaches boiling point, remove from the heat and let it sit and infuse for approximately half an hour. Pour this through a fine strainer to remove the solids and into a bowl, then stir in the vanilla bean paste, if you are using it. You want to see those speckles in the finished product.

Whisk the egg yolks with the honey until combined. Pour the strained cream mixture onto the yolks and whisk to incorporate.

Return this to a saucepan and place over a gentle heat and stir until the mixture thickens and resembles a custard. Pour this into a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge to set - around 3-4 hours or you can leave it overnight.

When you are ready to serve, then sprinkle it lightly with soft brown sugar and then run over the top with a blow-torch. If you don't have one you can place it under a grill.


It's best to do this in stages and build up the caramelised topping - I repeat the sugar sprinkling 3 or 4 times to get it to a nice thickness. To hasten the sugar's hardening when it's complete, run an ice cube over the caramelised sugar - this should set it.


You might have to toss and see who gets to crack through that sugar crust first!

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  1. Wow, what a great idea (and how come I didn't think of it first). You make so many delicious things, Haalo, I'm almost glad we live in different hemispheres.

  2. Ohhhh! I love the looks and sounds of your dessert. I'm looking for a good plane ticket to Australia right now. ;-)


  3. Thanks Susan - you do live in Italy and for me, that is a perpetual temptation

    Thanks Paz - looks like I'll be making more of these ;)

  4. a true brulee! only a few centimetres of the creme is so important!!!

  5. Very true Anna - these Spanish dishes are the best and they come in all sorts of sizes.


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