Recipe: Crème Brûlée

"Crème brûlée is the ultimate 'guy' dessert. Make it and he'll follow you anywhere." 
- Ina Garten.

With Valentine's Day just a sleep away, I have come over all domesticated and spent the morning in the kitchen preparing for the three-course meal I have promised to cook my other half. Whether you believe in the cynicism or romanticism of this day, you can't disagree that going out is cheap (although I admit I have seen a fair few good deals on at some of my favourite restaurants).

This year I have made the executive decision that we will be staying in for our celebration - affordable, comfortable surroundings and more importantly, you can hear what each other are saying! To give myself a bit of a head start I have got the meat marinating in the fridge for the next 24 hours and have made one of my guy's favourite desserts, Crème Brûlée.

For this recipe, you will need:
‣ Butter, for greasing
‣ 4 egg yolks
‣ 30g caster sugar
‣ ½ tsp vanilla extract
‣ 600ml double cream
‣ 60g demerara sugar

  1.  Lightly butter 6 small ramekins or shallow crème brûlée dishes.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar and vanilla extract. Heat the cream to just below boiling point, then slowly pour into the egg yolk mixture, stirring all the time.
  3. Carefully pour the custard into the ramekins or dishes. Set in a roasting tin and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins or dishes.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C/gas mark 3 for about 25 minutes, or until just set and firm to the touch. Leave to cool. (I cook using an AGA so if you have one of those, third set of runners in the roasting oven for 10mins will do the job nicely.)
  5. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the top of the set custard. Place under a very hot grill until the sugar melts and caramelizes to a rich golden brown colour or my old-time favourite, a blowtorch - please use with caution.

As you are aware mine have been made ahead of time so I'll be doing step 5 after we have finished our main course. It's a Mary Berry recipe too, so you know you can't go wrong!

What's everyone got planned for their Valentine's Day? Are you staying in or taking the pressure off with a meal out?

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