If there is a competition between the celebrity chefs, I would be holding Nigella’s banner in my right hand and Jamie Oliver’s banner on the left. There are a few other chefs that I really like; Donna Hay, Anna Olsen and Rachel Allen but my favorite would always remain Nigella and Jamie O. I have tried more of Nigella’s recipes though, for the simple reason that I am at times pressed for time
lazy and her recipes are mostly simple and it always turns out well; for me at least! Personally, I think Nigella is the only one who can make cooking look so remarkably effortless and sexy. Cooking, me and sexy can never be fitted into one sentence. Me as a facile cook, that can somehow happen. One fine day, maybe.
“I always cook for eight, but make enough to feed 30.” That sentence of hers was literally screaming and saying ME ME ME! It felt as if she was talking about me? *High 5@Nigella’s picture*
Creme Brulee is a classic and it is on a league of it’s own. I am habituated to hitting the classic Creme Brulee, in the oven and it is ALWAYS a smashing success in my family and my brothers can eat many cups of these. Recently I was watching one Nigella’s program and she made Creme Brulee that required no baking. What? No bake Creme Brulee? Hell yeah! I had to give it a try.
Purists insist that a proper creme brulee should never see the inside of an oven, but some of the most respected chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, bake theirs, so I guess it is a matter of preference. I am guilty of bastardization in preparing some classic dishes, thus I shall not pretend to be a purist and all. Delicious + Simple = Worth a try. So I gave Nigella’s recipe a try and it was really simple to create. You just have to cook it over the stove just as how you would cook creme anglaise. There IS a difference in the texture of these non bake creme brulee. After refrigerating it for a few hours, I found myself doing plenty of spoonful sneaking, you know for quality control? Initially I felt that the texture was different. This was silky and creamy and doesn’t have a structure of it’s own, just like an ice cream. As I was getting desserts ready for the family and I was sneaking more spoonfuls here and there, I obviously warmed up to this new dessert very quickly!
For variations, just infuse the cream with flavorings:
- Orange Creme Brulee – Mix in 2 teaspoon orange zest to the simmering cream
- Earl Grey Creme Brulee – Add 3 tea bags to the simmering cream.
- Lavendar infused Creme Brulee – Mix in a bunch of lavender to the cream. Do make sure to buy only lavender intended for culinary uses.
- Coffee Creme Brulee – Dissolve a good teaspoon of instant coffee granules to the cream.
This recipe is simple and gorgeous. What’s not to love about it? And why wouldn’t you try it, since you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now?
No Bake Creme Brulee
- 600 ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 8 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- Approx. 6 tablespoons demerara sugar
- Keep 6 ramekins or a 8 inches pie dish in the freezer for 20 minutes or more.
- Place the cream and vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring to a simmer but do not boil.
- Beat the eggs and caster sugar together in a bowl, and while still beating. Do not over-beat.
- Pour a little cream at a time to tamper the eggs.
- Once all the cream is done, pour the custard mix back in the pot.
- Cook over medium low heat until the custard thicken. This takes about 10 minutes.
- When the cream's thick enough, take out the vanilla pod, retrieve the ramekins/pie dish and pour this creme into the chilled container.
- Leave to cool, then put in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
- Sprinkle with demerara sugar and burn with a blowtorch till you get a light golden crust.