Creme Brulee – great for a summer dessert:
500ml/18fl oz double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g/4oz caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
6 egg yolks
1. Pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
2. Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream.
3. Chop the empty pod into small pieces, and add them to the cream.
4. Bring to boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer gently for five minutes.
5. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy.
6. Bring the cream back to boiling point. Pour it over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened – this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly.
7. Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, if you want to add a soft fruit say Raspberries or blue berries do this now at the bottom of each ramekin.
8.Fill six ramekins about two-thirds full, place the ramekins in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides.
9. Place on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the custards are just set and are still a bit wobbly in the middle.
10. Remove from the water and allow to cool to room temperature.
11. When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface of each créme, then caramelise with a mini blowtorch.
12. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, then serve.