Chai Brulees

This is a slight adaptation of the traditional creme brulee recipe, which has been infused with chai spices to add an indian twist to a traditional classic.

I had no idea that creme brulee was such a simple recipe to make, with a few simple ingredients. It is also a fantastic make-ahead dessert, when you have other dishes to prepare for a dinner party.

Speaking of dinner parties, to celebrate the ease of lockdown regulations, we recently had a little dinner party with a few close friends which we have not seen in a while. I made a milk tart version of a creme brulee to enhance the traditional flavours of creme brulee. It was from here that I got the idea to make a chai version of this recipe.

I love the depth of flavour which is added by the spices, and the turmeric adds a wonderful golden hue to the custard.

TIPS FOR MAKING THESE CHAI BRULEES:

  • Is it essential to infuse the spices in the cream overnight? Infusing the spices in the cream overnight allows for a deep flavour to develop. Otherwise, it tastes like an ordinary creme brulee.
  • Is it essential to temper the eggs? Tempering refers to the process of gradually adding the hot cream to the egg yolks. By adding only a bit of the warm cream to the egg yolks initially, this helps with not scrambling the eggs.
  • Why do you have to skim the foam off the top of the custard before baking? Skimming the foam off the top off the custard prevents the top from scrambling once baked.
  • At what temperature should I bake the chai brulees? Baking the custard at 160 degrees celcius also helps to prevent it from curdling.
  • How do I know when the chai brulees are done? The times included in the recipe are as close as possible a guide. Oven temperatures vary however, so keep a close eye on it. The chai brulees are done when the sides have set but the center is still wobbly.
  • Is there any trick to adding the sugar? You want to try and add the sugar as evenly as possible, so that it brulees evenly.
  • What if I do not have a blowtorch? You can also brulee these under the grill. Set the grill to 200 degrees celcius and place the rack underneath it. Heat the sugar until it is just bruleed. This does not give you the most consistent brulee, but is a good alternative if you do not have a blowtorch.

If you make this recipe, please share it with me by tagging me on Instagram @adventureswithsugar or on Facebook at Adventures with Sugar. Please also leave a comment to let me know how you got on with the recipe.

FOR THE CHAI BRULEES

  • 650g whipping cream
  • 85g fresh ginger, coarsely grated
  • 12 green cardamom pods, crushed and seeds released
  • 4 cinnamon quills
  • 1 English breakfast teabag
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 nutmeg, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar, for bruleeing

METHOD

  1. Place the whipping cream into a medium saucepan and add all the spices into the cream.
  2. Heat on a medium low speed until the cream just comes to a boil, you do not want to boil it. Then remove from the stove and let cool for about 30 minutes.
  3. Thereafter, place in the fridge to infuse overnight. This gives the custard its depth of flavour.
  4. When ready to bake the custards, preheat your oven until 160 degrees celcius.
  5. Reheat the cream until it is just about to boil. Little bubbles will start to form around the sides of the saucepan. This is how you will know when it is done.
  6. Remove from the stove and strain out the spices.
  7. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. You do not have to do this for more than 30 seconds.
  8. Then add a bit of the warm cream mixture to the eggs and sugar, to temper the eggs. Then add in the remaining cream and whisk to combine.
  9. Skim off the foam, or there will be a bit of scrambling on the top of the custards. This is not the end of the world, it just will not look as pretty
  10. Pour the custard into six medium size ramekins.
  11. Set the ramekins into a large baking dish and fill with boiling water, until it comes up half the height of the ramekins.
  12. Bake for around 20 minutes. It is done when the sides are set, but there is a wobble in the middle.
  13. Remove from the oven and let the custards come room temperature.
  14. Then place in the fridge to chill for at least six hours.
  15. When ready to serve, spread evenly around 18g of caster sugar, on the top of the custard and brulee with a blowtorch.
  16. The caramel will form a crisp layer on the top of the custard.

Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com

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