Mandarin creme brulee
A blowtorch is the most effective way to achieve the brulee's crunchy crust but most home cooks don't have one. The alternative is to finish the dessert under a very hot grill and here gas is more effective than electric. Before turning on the grill, figure out how to get the top of the brulee as close as possible to the heat by propping it up on something stable, like an upside-down shallow baking tray. Turn the grill on high and let it heat fully before putting the brulee under. The sugar needs to harden as quickly as possible or the dessert underneath will overcook.
Photo: Natalie Boog
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- 240ml mandarin juice
- 160g egg yolks
- 60g caster sugar
- 400ml pouring cream
- 2 mandarins, peeled and membrane removed from segments
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Extra caster sugar
Heat oven to 115C. Reserve 40ml mandarin juice. Heat remaining juice and reduce to about 20ml, reserve. Whisk yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Stir in reduced juice and reserved fresh juice. Bring cream to the boil then pour into the yolk mixture and combine well.
Pour into 4 x 150ml-capacity ramekins. Place in a water bath and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until just set. Remove and allow to cool before refrigerating.
Mix mandarin segments and icing sugar together and allow to sit a few minutes.
Evenly cover tops of brulees with a thin layer of caster sugar. Caramelise under a very hot grill or with a blowtorch until a deep golden brown.
Serve with mandarin segments on the side.