Recipe: Masala Chai Creme Brulee
When a classic french dessert takes it's influences from the subtle and well balanced spices of India you get something to behold. Served with these macaroon-style cookies made of pistachio and almond it's a sublime end to a meal.
- 2 black tea teabags
- 3 black peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 400 ml double cream
- 100 ml whole milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 Eggs
- 80 g Caster sugar
- 150 g whole, shelled pistachios
- 70 g ground almonds
- 70 g caster sugar
Infuse The Cream
Add all the spices to a pestle and mortar and grind to a coarse powder, or use a spice grinder.
Pour the double cream and milk into a large saucepan and warm to a gentle simmer with the teabags and ground spices.
Leave to steep, off the heat, for about 10 minutes, then remove the tea bags.
Make The Custard
In a large bowl whisk together the 5 egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract until fully mixed up.
(Keep the egg whites back for the biscuits).
Gradually pour the hot cream, through a fine sieve, into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
Transfer into a large measuring jug then divide the mixture between 4 ramekins.
Line a deep roasting tin with a clean tea towel and place the 4 ramekins on top.
Preheat an oven to 160°C.
Fill the roasting tin with enough boiling water to reach half way up the sides.
Bake for 30 minutes until just set, but with a slight wobble.
Remove from the tin and leave to cool at room temperature before setting in the fridge.
Turn the oven temperature up to 180°C.
Add the ground almonds, caster sugar and 90% of the pistachios (hold a few back to place one on top of each cookie) to a food processor and grind to a fine powder.
Mix in 75g of the egg whites (about 2-3) to form a sticky cookie dough mixture.
Shape the dough into small balls with a teaspoon of mixture in each.
Place these on a lined baking tray with plenty of space between each ball and flatten slightly, then top each one with a whole pistachio.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until they begin to brown on top. Leave to cool.
Caramelise The Sugar Top
Pour some caster sugar on top of each ramekin and caramelise with either a blowtorch or under a very hot grill then serve.
*Or make a caramel from the sugar, allow to set on a silicon matt, then blitz up in a food processor. Use this instead of caster sugar for easier and quicker caramelisation.
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