Masala Chai Crème Brûlée
Courtesy of Chef Sam Hussain (caferickshaw.com)
- 3 cardamom pods, lightly split
- 2 sticks (2 inches/5 cm each) cinnamon
- 3 bay leaves
- Butter for greasing ramekins
- 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
- 2 Darjeeling tea teabags (or loose tea, in an infuser)
- 4 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons (48 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons (20 ml) granulated or brown sugar (for finishing)
- Fill and preheat the water oven to 183F/84C.
- Put the cardamom pods, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks into a small muslin spice bag, if possible, or tie in cheesecloth.
- Generously butter the interior of the ramekins you will use and set aside.
- Whisk (or blend) together the cream, egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until blended well.
- Put the cream mixture, tea bags, and spice bundle into a large (gallon/3.8 liter) zip-closure cooking pouch and use the displacement method (Archimedes principle) to remove the air and zip the seal.
- Submerge the pouch in the water bath to cook for 30 minutes; agitate/shake the pouch half way through ensure even cooking .
- Remove the pouch from water bath and knead to distribute the liquid mixture evenly.
- With a scissors cut a small corner off the pouch and pour evenly into the prepared ramekins.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (up to 8 hours is fine.)
- When ready to serve, sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of brown sugar and caramelize with a kitchen torch or under a pre-heated broiler.