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Chai Crème Brûlée

Autumn 2011
201105065.jpg
food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

Cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and ginger are among the spices that give traditional chai Indian tea its exotic flavour. Here, they combine with cream and eggs to create crème brûlée, Indian style.

12 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
½ tsp (2 mL) black peppercorns
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 cup (250 mL) whole (homogenized) milk
3 slices fresh ginger
5 egg yolks
6 tbsp (90 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
6 sprigs mint

1 Lightly crush cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.

2 In a medium saucepan, combine spices, cream and milk. Add ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove saucepan from the heat, cover tightly and let stand for 1 hour. Strain cream mixture, discarding spices.

3 Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C)

4 Boil a kettle of water. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar and vanilla. Whisk in cream mixture. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher.

5 Set six ½-cup (125-mL) ramekins in a shallow roasting pan. Pour cream mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Set roasting pan on pulled-out middle rack of oven. Pour boiling water from kettle into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Slide rack into oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until custards are just set around edges but centres still jiggle slightly.

6 Remove ramekins from roasting pan and let cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

7 Just before serving, sprinkle remaining sugar over each custard, dividing evenly and covering surface of custard completely. Light a blowtorch and play flame evenly over tops of custards to caramelize sugar, moving torch constantly so sugar doesn’t burn. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes for caramelized sugar to harden. Serve garnished with mint sprigs.

Serves 6

What to Serve

201105065.jpg
food and drink

Chai Crème Brûlée

Autumn 2011

BY: Julia Aitken

Cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and ginger are among the spices that give traditional chai Indian tea its exotic flavour. Here, they combine with cream and eggs to create crème brûlée, Indian style.

12 cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
½ tsp (2 mL) black peppercorns
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
1 cup (250 mL) whole (homogenized) milk
3 slices fresh ginger
5 egg yolks
6 tbsp (90 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
6 sprigs mint

1 Lightly crush cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle.

2 In a medium saucepan, combine spices, cream and milk. Add ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove saucepan from the heat, cover tightly and let stand for 1 hour. Strain cream mixture, discarding spices.

3 Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C)

4 Boil a kettle of water. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, 3 tbsp (45 mL) sugar and vanilla. Whisk in cream mixture. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher.

5 Set six ½-cup (125-mL) ramekins in a shallow roasting pan. Pour cream mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Set roasting pan on pulled-out middle rack of oven. Pour boiling water from kettle into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Slide rack into oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until custards are just set around edges but centres still jiggle slightly.

6 Remove ramekins from roasting pan and let cool completely. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

7 Just before serving, sprinkle remaining sugar over each custard, dividing evenly and covering surface of custard completely. Light a blowtorch and play flame evenly over tops of custards to caramelize sugar, moving torch constantly so sugar doesn’t burn. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes for caramelized sugar to harden. Serve garnished with mint sprigs.

Serves 6

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