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.


Creme Brulee

  • 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

Pistachio Cookies

  • 150 g whole, shelled pistachios
  • 70 g ground almonds
  • 70 g caster sugar
Infuse the cream

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.


Step 3


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.

Pistachio cookies

Step 4

Pistachio Cookies

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

Step 5

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. makes 4

Hungry for more? Try one of these!