- 500 ml/18fl oz double cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 100 g/4 oz caster sugar (plus extra for the topping)
- 6 egg yolks
Pre-heat the oven to 140 C/275 F/Gas 1.
Pour the cream into a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream.
Chop the empty pod into bits, and add them to the cream.
Bring to boiling point, then lower the heat and simmer gently for five minutes.
Beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a large heat-proof bowl until pale and creamy.
Bring the cream back to boiling point. Pour it over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened – this indicates that the eggs have begun to cook slightly.
Strain through a fine sieve into a large jug, and then use this to fill six ramekins about two-thirds full.
Place the ramekins in a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their sides.
Place on the centre shelf of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the custards are just set and are still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Remove from the water and allow to cool to room temperature.
When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface of each creme and then caramelise with a mini blowtorch.
Alternatively you can flash the desserts under a very hot grill but a cooks blow torch will give you more control.