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Spiced Creme Brulee

ingredients

serves 4
280 ml (1/2 pint) milk
280 ml (1/2 pint) double cream
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsps coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 vanilla pod
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsps cornflour
90 g (3 oz) caster sugar
Demerara, or soft light brown sugar

method

1. Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-based saucepan. Add the spices and vanilla pod and heat gently until almost, but not quite, boiling. Allow to cool slightly

2. Beat the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar together until light in colour.

3. Strain the milk and cream mixture gradually onto the egg yolks, beating between additions.

4. Pour the egg and cream mixture back into the pan and place over a gentle heat. Bring the mixture to just below boiling point very slowly, stirring constantly, to prevent curdling. Continue stirring, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

5. Remove the custard from the heat and strain it into lour ramekins or custard cups. Chill until set.

6. When set, put the custards into a roasting pan and surround them with ice. Preheat a grill to the highest temperature.

7. Sprinkle a thin layer of sugar over the top of each custard and place under a grill, until the sugar melts and caramelizes.

8. Before serving, chill the custards in the refrigerator, until the sugar layer is crisp.

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