White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

One of my biggest kitchen dilemmas is working out to do with the leftover halves of the eggs when a recipe requires only one part of it. Egg whites aren't as bad as you can freeze them, but egg yolks only last a few days and don't survive the freezer so well.

After making the Pavlova Roulade, I had 6 of them to use up. The easiest way to use a large amount up, other than giving them to my puppy, is to make something custardy. I also had plenty of cream leftover from party baking so I decided a crème brûlée was in order. I'd made a chocolate one before, but I've never even so much as seen a white chocolate crème brûlée before.

Time to experiment. 

I made a batch of 6 small ones, intending to use just two of them for dessert that night for me and my boyfriend. The rest of the mixture I poured into 2 large ramekins. By the time we'd annihilated the first two small ones, it was determined that it was nowhere near enough. We considered sharing another small one, but who were we kidding? One does not simply share a crème brûlée! So we busted open another two.

I think it's safe to declare the experiment a success. 

I just love that toffee topping. 

I added a very small amount of sugar to the egg yolks as I figured the sweetness of the white chocolate itself would be plenty. It was definitely sweet enough and the subtle flavour of the white chocolate complimented the vanilla quite well. There's nothing quite like making brûlées with real vanilla. 

If you're going to make the pavlova roulade, this is the perfect way to cull the leftover yolks. The yolks will remain fresh for 3 days in an airtight container the fridge, so make sure you whip this up by the third day. This dessert keeps well in the fridge and is best served after a full night to chill, so it's the perfect dessert to serve when you want to spend as much time with your guests as possible. 

If you can't make this by the third day, it is possible to freeze egg yolks by using a ratio of 1.5 tsp of sugar : every 4 egg yolks. This stabilises the yolks and prevents them from becoming grainy when defrosted. If saving yolks for a savoury dish, you can achieve the same by adding 1/3 teaspoon salt instead of sugar.

White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Ingredients

600ml double cream
100g white eating chocolate
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped (can substitute for 1tsp vanilla bean paste ideally, or 1 tsp vanilla essence)
6 egg yolks
2 tbsp caster sugar, plus extra for toffee topping

Method

  1. Heat the cream, white chocolate and vanilla pod (if using paste or essence, add it all here) in a pan until chocolate has melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla seeds and allow to infuse for 10 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Beat egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale, stir in the chocolate cream. Strain into a jug and pour into ramekins. Remove any remaining air bubbles (you can skim the surface with a spoon, but if you have a blow torch you can use that to make this part painless). 
  3. Place ramekins in water bath and fill with boiling water enough to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 20 minutes in a small ramekin, or 40 miniutes for a large ramekin. When done, the custard will still have a slight wobble; if it wobbles too much just return to the over for another 10-20 minutes. When ready, remove from water bath and allow to cool to room temperature (only as it is not ideal to put hot things in your fridge). Chill in the fridge for 2-4 hours, preferably overnight.
  4. Just before serving, sprinkle with caster sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch. In lieu of that, you can do it under the grill, but this will warm your custard and may even make it runny. Leave the caramel to harden then serve. Berries, ice cream or biscotti (or hell, all of the above!) make for lovely accompaniments. 
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5 thoughts on “White Chocolate Crème Brûlée

    • Re: Yummy!

      Thanks! I only just recently got the blowtorch (and more recently finally worked out how to re-gas it!). Before then I always did it under the grill and it worked fine. You just have to keep a close eye on it and the brulee will be warm, but that never bothered us!

      If you’re going to omit the white chocolate, you’re going to want to beat a lot more sugar into the eggs, perhaps half a cup of it.

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