• Sarah Rainey

Cheat's crème brûlées

Invented in a Cambridge University dining hall by a chef who burned the cream for dessert, crème brûlées go back a long way (all the way to 1630, to be precise). But if you've ever tried making one - or watched the many failed attempts on MasterChef - you'll know they're a real faff.

So, meet my version... the cheats' crème brûlée, made by mixing melted vanilla ice cream (yes, you read that right) with egg yolks and sugar. The genius bit about the ice cream is that it already has all the components you'd need in a really good custard, so it works a treat!



Makes 2

Ingredients:

150g vanilla ice cream

2 egg yolks

2 tbsp caster sugar

Method:

Melt the ice cream. This is best done naturally – by leaving it out in a warm kitchen – rather than trying to speed things up in the microwave.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C / fan 160C and grease two ramekins with a little butter.

When the ice cream has melted and come to room temperature, whisk in the egg yolks and divide the mixture between the ramekins.

Put these in a deep baking tray and pour boiling water around them so it comes two-thirds of the way up the sides. This will help cook the centres.

Bake for 45 minutes until set but still wobbly. Switch the oven to the grill setting on high.

Take the brûlées out and cover each with a tablespoon of sugar. Put them under the grill for a couple of minutes until the sugar melts and starts bubbling.

Allow to cool completely before serving. They’ll keep, well-covered, for 1-2 days in the fridge.

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Content © Sarah Rainey

Photos © Clare Winfield, Alex Luck & Al Richardson

Styling © Emma Lahaye, Octavia Squire, Laurie Perry & Sarah Rainey

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