Eggless Banana and Cardamom Crème Brûlée


3 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
250 grams banana, peeled and sliced
1 vanilla pod, scraped of its seeds (keep the pod)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 grams caster sugar (plus more for caramelising)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
Yellow food colour (optional)


Preheat your oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
Place the milk, cornflour and banana slices in a blender and pulse until pureed.
In a large saucepan heat on a very low flame the double cream, banana puree, sugar, vanilla extract and the vanilla seeds along with the whole pod. Gently whisk this from time to time.
Once the mixture begins to thicken, whisk it more often to ensure it doesn’t settle at the bottom. Simmer gently until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and add take out the whole vanilla pod (wash it and dry it and add it to a jar of sugar, et voila… Vanilla sugar!) Add the cardamom powder and food colouring if using and mix thoroughly.
Boil the kettle. Not for a cuppa chai. For the bain marie (water bath).
Pour the mixture into ramekins about 2/3 of the way up.
Put the ramekins in a large roasting tray with high sides and place the tray in an oven. Pull the oven rack out and pour the boiled water into the tray (not into the ramekins) until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for around 45 minutes until the custards are just set but a little wobbly in the middle. Did I just say ‘wobbly’?
Remove the ramekins from the oven and take them out of the roasting tray (be very careful because they will be hot). If you’re making these ahead of time, at this point you can cover these and refrigerate them (and follow step 11 when you’re ready to serve). If you want to eat them straight away then follow step 11 now.
Top the custards with 1 level tsp of caster sugar and place them under the grill until they caramelise.
Carefully remove from the oven and serve hot.




Firstly, I’d like to apologise to the French for this recipe. I can only imagine the kind of chaos an eggless banana and cardamom crème brûlée would cause. It’s not even the cool sort of chaos.

I’ve been working on this recipe for eggless crème brûlée for a while now and I think it’s about time I unveiled it before your hungry eyes. You’re probably thinking that this dish is notorious for being laced with eggs and I’m a total nutcase for thinking otherwise. But trust me… It can be made beautifully without. Otherwise I wouldn’t be typing this right now.

Eggs add a certain richness to crème brûlée which I reinterpreted as ‘banana’. Cute. I mean that I replaced the eggs with pureed banana which adds a velvety texture to the custard, along with a subtle banana flavour. I added cornflour to act as a setting agent just as eggs help set the custard in a usual crème brûlée. So you don’t have to worry about your custard turning into scrambled eggs when making the custard for this dessert, due to the lack of… uhh… eggs.




Sunday, April 11, 2010 - 4:30pm


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