The lack of posts lately is due to the sad, untimely death of my laptop. RIP Macbook, you will be missed. Hopefully it will be replaced under our contents insurance, but in the meantime I'm posting from a tiny netbook with a tiny keyboard so I can barely see the letters on the screen and there's bound to be lots of typos.
I do, however, have a new toy to play with: an iPhone! I know I'm very late to the party but I got there eventually (even if mine is only a 3GS, last-gen technology doesn't bother me). To celebrate, I've been snapping photos using Instagram, so you'll have to excuse the 70s style photos because the novelty hasn't worn off yet.
This months' Random Recipe challenge was to bake something lovely from a desserts/baking-related cookbook. Just for a change, I thought I'd pile up my current stash of library books (all sixteen of them, and all food-related!) and pick one at random. As luck would have it, I got Phil Vickery's Puddings, which is obviously very appropriate for this challenge :)
Every page had something I wanted to make, but I thought I'd keep it simple and make one of my husband's favourites: creme brulée. Yummy! Phil's recipe is simplicity itself, but is definitely one of the better recipes I've tried and it turned out perfect.
6 egg yolks
600 ml double cream
55g caster sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 vanilla pod
zest of 1 lemon, removed with a peeler (I left this out)
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C.
Place the cream in a saucepan with the vanilla pod and lemon zest and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile whisk the eggs and sugar till well combined. When the cream boils, strain it through a fine sieve onto the egg & sugar mixture and whisk it all together.
Divide between four ramekins and place these in a deep roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the tin so it comes halfway up the ramekins (this is called a bain marie, by the way). Bake for around 30 minutes, or until set but still a bit wobbly. Leave to cool and chill for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, sprinkle a teaspoon of caster sugar onto each dessert and use a blowtorch or a very hot grill to melt and caramelise the sugar.
The best bit of eating a creme brulée is shoving your spoon through the caramelised top and hearing the lovely satisfying CRACK!