Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
This recipe for lavender crème brûlée is so simple to make but is utterly delicious!
Imagine using your spoon to crack the crisp caramelised sugar surface then sinking in to the creamy velvet custard. It's pure perfection.
Great for making in advance, this dessert is decadent enough for entertaining too.
Why you will love this
I think that lots of people thing this dessert is difficult to make. It's definitely not!
If you can do a bit of whisking and sieving then you can make this, no problem.
The ingredients are simple and there's so many ways to customise the flavours too - it doesn't have to be lavender.
This is a popular French baked custard, made in individual dishes, so it's perfect to serve to guests, without any last minute cooking.
It can be made a couple of days in advance and just left in the fridge until required.
The best bit? It tastes deliciously smooth and creamy and is the perfect dessert. Just ask my husband!
What are the ingredients?
Lavender crème brûlée is made from easy to find ingredients.
You will need egg yolks, caster sugar, (fine sugar), brown sugar, (for the topping), and double cream.
For the lavender, I used fresh flower stalks from the garden, but you could use some lavender that is dried. Only use I flower head as the aroma and flavour is much more concentrated.
How to make this recipe
Put the cream in a small pan with the lavender. Slowly heat the cream to just below boiling point then turn off the heat. Let the lavender infuse for 30 minutes and then pass the cream through a sieve.
Allow the cream to cool slightly.
In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together.
Whisk the cream into the eggs a little at a time, until well combined.
Be careful that the cream is not too hot or you will end up cooking the eggs.
Temper the mixture by whisking in a little at first, followed by the rest.
Divide the mixture between 6 ramekins and place in a deep roasting tin with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides. This will help the custard to bake evenly.
Bake for an hour at 150C/300F then let them cool and refrigerate, ideally overnight.
When you want to serve them sprinkle over the brown sugar and use a blow torch to quickly caramelise the sugar. Return it to the fridge for a few minutes in case any of the custard is warm. It will form a crisp layer and be ready to eat.
These are so delicious!
Crème brûlée is said to have originated in France, although Spain and Britain also have a claim on the recipe, which appeared in France in 1691.
Interestingly, according to my Julia Child book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the dish is not French at all but Creole in origin, but I've always thought of it as French.
If you have egg whites leftover in a recipe then you can actually freeze them for up to a year. I put them in a container or bag with the date on and how many egg whites, then when you want to make something you have them to hand. The same goes for egg yolks. Just thaw overnight in the fridge.
Meringues are the obvious choice so try making Nutella Chocolate Meringue,
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake or Macarons.
The basic flavouring is vanilla, so add the seeds from a vanilla pod, or half a teaspoon of vanilla extract the the cream before heating.
You could also use Baileys, but add this to the egg yolk mixture.
It's also great to add a few raspberries to the custard before baking too.
- If you don't have a blow torch put the grill or broiler on to a high setting and grill for a few minutes, watching all the time.
- It is best to caramelise the topping a few hours before serving to keep it from going soggy.
Once you tap into the crisp caramel and into the creamy custard you will be hooked!
You will just have to go back for another!
More French desserts to try
Lavender Crème Brûlée
- 3 large lavender flowers washed
- 600 ml double cream 30% fat
- 4 egg yolks
- 50 g caster sugar
- 50 g brown sugar
- Put the cream in a saucepan with the flower heads and gently heat until hot but not boiling. Turn off the heat and leave for 30 minutes.
- Strain the cream to remove the lavender
- In a large bowl whisk together the caster sugar and egg yolks then slowly whisk in the cream.
- Divide the mixture between 6 ramekins and place in a roasting tin with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides and bake at 150 C for an hour when the custard should be set..
- Remove the ramekins from the water then allow to cool then refrigerate until set, ideally overnight.
- Sprinkle on the brown sugar in an even layer and use a blow torch to caramelize the top. Alternatively place under a hot grill quickly. Return to the fridge until cold.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.