After something of a bread based disaster last week, I was happy to be back in my relative comfort zone of desserts this week! (Although my actual dessert comfort zone would be a nice restaurant with an extensive pudding menu).
I was pretty tempted by the Spanische Windetorte, but seeing as the recipe serves twelve and not everyone in my family is quite so dessert obsessed as myself, I thought it might end up being a waste of my hard work (and the bazillion eggs required).
And I love cheesecake, but I like a little variation in life, and working my way through three cheesecakes takes a level of dedication I just don't possess. So I opted for the creme brûlées - easy to do a small batch, plenty of opportunity for experimenting with flavour, and not something I eat all that often. (Plus we have a massive collection of ramekins from various shop bought desserts and it seemed a good way of getting some use out of the hoard).
I've made white chocolate and cardamom mousses a few times and I love the flavour so I decided to work from this to come up with an idea for a twist on a classic creme brûlée. I did away with the chocolate, and thought I'd try and work in some honeycomb instead.
I had forgotten how easy honeycomb is to make - although I do remember making it in science in secondary school (and being the third person in the lesson to slink off to medical minus a loose tooth).
This time, we didn't have any golden syrup in so I switched it for honey. It worked, and gave the honeycomb a nice honey flavour (quelle surprise), although I would probably always prefer to use golden syrup. I also made far too much honeycomb - it didn't occur to me to reduce the recipe, but I have done so below!
|A very satisfying smooth block of honeycomb!|
As for the cardamom... delicious! It's honestly one of my favourite flavours and works perfectly for creamy desserts such as this.
Now there was much contention over how to "brûler" the creme brûlées - to blowtorch or grill?? I grilled the first one just to be GBBO authentic, but it wasn't very successful - it melted my dessert back to custard - and thereafter I just (asked someone else) to blowtorch them for me.
To make four cardamom and honeycomb creme brûlées:
250ml double cream
75ml full fat milk
Seeds from 5 cardamom pods
4 eggs yolks
3tbsp caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
4tbsp demarara sugar for the topping
Butter for greasing
50g caster sugar
5tbsp honey or golden syrup
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Begin by making your honeycomb. Grease a small tin with the butter. Put the caster sugar and syrup/ honey into a deep pan over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has melted. Turn up the heat and simmer until a darker amber caramel forms. Quickly turn off the heat, add the bicarbonate of soda and beat with a wooden spoon until foamy. Pour into the tin. Leave for about an hour to harden.
2. Turn the oven on to 120°c (fan). Prepare a bain marie by putting hot water into a deep tin such as a roasting dish.
3. Put the cream, milk and cardamom into a saucepan and heat until boiling. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes to let the cardamom infuse.
4. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until thickened and pale in a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract.
5. Pour the boiling cream mixture into the eggs and sugar, slowly to avoid scrambling the eggs.
6. Tip the honeycomb out onto a board and break into small pieces. Add these to the cream mixture. Stir well, then pour into four ramekins.
7. Place the ramekins in the bain marie and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes - or until desired level of wobble! Leave to cool.
8. When ready to eat, sprinkle each with a layer of demarara sugar. Caramelise under the grill or with a blowtorch until the top is golden and crackling. Enjoy!
Did you watch the Great British Bake Off this week?