(makes 6 x 145ml ramekins)

Traditionally brulees are vanilla-flavoured but these days a variety of flavoured brulee abound. This version is a perfect ending to a meal with a glass of sweet, rich dessert wine, either on its own, or with the Apricot Sorbet and Brown Sugar Shortbread.


6 egg yolks
45g (1/4 cup firmly packed) brown sugar
250ml (1 cup) milk 500ml (2 cups) cream
100g (1/2 cup) sugar

125ml (1/2 cup) water
1 tsp salt 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract or essence
6 tsp sugar


  • Preheat oven to 150oC.
  • Place egg yolks in a bowl and, using a hand whisk, lightly whisk until smooth. Try not to create froth.
  • Place brown sugar, milk and cream in a saucepan over a medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Heat the mixture to just below boiling point. This is called scalding.
  • In a heavy-based saucepan place sugar and water over a low heat and stir till dissolved. Increase heat and, without stirring, bring syrup to the boil.
  • Keep boiling without stirring till syrup turns to caramel. It will become a dark amber colour. Carefully and slowly pour the hot cream into the caramel and stir. Beware. The mixture may spit at you.
  • Gently and slowly pour cream mixture into egg yolks trying not to create froth. Stir in salt and vanilla.
  • Pour mixture through a fine sieve to remove egg particles. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes and then scrape off any froth which has been created.
  • Pour custard into 6 x 145ml ramekins, souffle dishes or espresso cups. Set ramekins in a roasting pan and pour warm water into pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes or till custard is set. Remove ramekins from roasting pan, cool and then refrigerate for at least three hours, or overnight.
  • When you are ready to serve, sprinkle each custard with a teaspoon of sugar and, using a kitchen torch, brown the sugar. Alternatively place ramekins under a hot grill for a short time to brown sugar but aim to maintain cold custard.

Associated Recipes:
Brown Sugar Shortbread
Apricot Sorbet