A classic dessert gets an orange-infused twist. This Grand Marnier custard is a variation on creme caramel. For a perfect texture, make sure the oven temperature is correct and don't overcook the custard. It's best to begin this recipe the day before serving to allow flavours to infuse the milk before cooking.
1 vanilla pod, split in half, seeds scraped
5 strips untreated orange zest
200g caster sugar
60ml Grand Marnier
4 large eggs, separated
4 large egg yolks
Place the milk, vanilla pod and seeds and orange zest in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Put in the refrigerator and let the flavours infuse overnight.
Preheat the oven to 140°C.
To prepare the caramel, stir 150g of sugar into 90ml of water in a small saucepan over a low heat. When the sugar has melted, turn the heat up to high and simmer until the mixture turns a deep caramel colour. Pour caramel into six 180ml ramekins.
Place the Grand Marnier in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, then set aside to cool.
Put the 8 egg yolks and remaining sugar in a bowl and combine using a mixer on medium-high speed. Once the mixture is pale and creamy and the sugar is melted, incorporate egg whites and the Grand Marnier. Use a strainer to add the infused milk. Mix well with the mixer then pour into the ramekins. Place them in a baking pan and fill it with enough boiling water to come halfway up their sides.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the custard has set but is still a little wobbly in the centre; don't overcook. Cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for about 1 hour to set further.
Serve straight out of the ramekins, or turn out onto plates.
Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.