Bollywood a la Francaise

May 4, 2008

I have three words for you: Cardamom Crème Brûlée. It's silly how easy it is to make. Just silly! I whipped this up last night to accompany my friend's Indian feast and we danced around the table like actors in a Bollywood film.

Cardamom Crème Brûlée

12 large egg yolks, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup light brown sugar

Optional: Since we were eating Indian food we wanted to boost the cardamom flavor so we added about 10 cardamom pods, slightly cracked, to the cream as it heated, as well as an additional 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom.

This recipe filled ten 7-ounce ramekins.

Preheat oven to 325°.

In a large heat-proof mixing bowl, preferably one with a pour spout, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.

Pour the cream in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat until little bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat and, whisking constantly, pour into the egg and sugar mixture. Add the ground cardamom and continue whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined.

Pour the mixture through a very fine strainer into your crème brûlée ramekins, filling them just half full. Place the dishes into a shallow baking dish. Place the dish on the middle rack of oven and finish filling the ramekins with the custard mixture, making sure that it comes right to the top of each dish. Then carefully fill the baking dish with hot tap water so it comes halfway up the sides of the filled ramekins. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the custard is set in the center.

Remove the custards to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until ready to use.

When ready to serve, you can brûlée the top in one of two methods: under the broiler or with a hand torch as shown in the photo.

Generously sprinkle the top of each custard with brown sugar, taking care to cover all of the custard. Slowly torch the sugar in an even movement. Or, place the chilled crème brûlée dishes under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until the tops are crackling brown. Remove from the broiler and serve immediately

The best part is cracking the top with your spoon!