Tap, tap, crack to reveal this crème brulée inspired by a warm cup of chai. With fragrant spices like cardamom, star anise and cinnamon, loose leaf tea is steeped in heavy cream then folded into whipped egg yolks for a smooth and rich dessert. The best part, of course, is the classic sugar caramelized top of this classic French dish. It’s a flavour combination that’s simply meant to be and is guaranteed to impress that special someone in your life.
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This recipe requires 2 hours chill time.
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Heat cream and chai in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Lower heat and continue to steep for about 5 minutes, until the cream becomes tan and fragrant from the chai.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yoks and sugar together in a medium bowl until the eggs become pale yellow and ribbony.
Strain the cream to remove the chai, then slowly pour it into the eggs, while whisking, until combined. You may strain the mixture again, if desired, to remove any eggs that may have curdled.
Arrange 4 ramekins on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Carefully pour an equal amount of the chai crème into each ramekin, filling to about a ⅛ inch from the top. Place the pan onto the oven’s centre rack and carefully pour hot water into the pan, about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the centres are just cooked and jiggle when shaken. When ramekins are cool, remove from the waterbath and place in the fridge until cold and set, about 2 hours.
Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar onto each crème brulée. Using a kitchen torch, glaze the sugar until a glassy top forms.
If desired, garnish with a whole star anise for presentation.
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