Oh how we love crème brûlée here at DSHQ. And how we love cake! But what happens if we're confronted with a choice between the two? DEAR GOD WHY WOULD YOU MAKE US CHOOSE? Well don't panic, because we've put our dastardly cake hats* on to make sure that will never happen.
These cupcakes might look labour intensive, but really it's all pretty straightforward stuff. Stick on a good podcast and whip up some vanilla-y, cakey delight. Feel free to mess around with the flavours, too. These have raspberries and brandy in them because... I don't need a reason. Just because.
*now I want a cake hat. Perhaps Laura B will make me one.
Crème Brûlée Cupcakes (makes 12 large or 16 small)
Preparation time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes + 20-25 minutes
You will need:
For the custard:
- 250ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- 3 free-range egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar (plus a little extra for the top)
- 200g butter, softened
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp brandy
- 1 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Handful of raspberries
- Preheat your oven to 150 C / 300 F / Gas Mark 2.
- Tip the cream into a saucepan.
- Slice open the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the cream. Chop the pod into a couple of pieces and throw that in there too.
- Heat the cream gently until it is almost at boiling point.
- Meanwhile, in a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and creamy.
- When the cream is ready, pour it into the egg mixture slowly, whisking continuously as you go, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a jug. Stir in the brandy.
- Pour into a medium-sized flat dish, deep enough to sit in a roasting tray of water. The custard should be about an inch thick.
- Place the dish in a deep roasting tray, then pour water around it until it is half-submerged in a bain-marie.
- Bake the custard in the oven for around 35 minutes until it is set but still jiggles a little when you wobble the tray.
- Remove from the water and leave until it is cool enough to put in the fridge.
- Chill for at least one hour.
- Turn the oven up to 180 F / 350 C / Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease 12 cupcake cases.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat the eggs then add a little at a time, with a teaspoonful of flour to stop the mixture from splitting.
- Stir in the vanilla and brandy.
- Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in gently with a metal spoon.
- Fold in the raspberries.
- Dollop into the paper cases, filling them 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen and a skewer comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack to cool.
- When the cupcakes are completely cool, take a sharp knife and cut a large, shallow inverted cone shape out of the top of the cake (to make room for the custard!)
- Remove your baked custard from the fridge. Carefully, spoon out a layer of custard into the indentations.
- When you're done, sprinkle each layer of custard with 1 tsp caster sugar, then caramelize with a chef's blowtorch (you do really need one here) until the sugar is melted and browned. (Try not to burn the cases, oops).
- Wait a minute or two for the sugar to harden, then GO! CAKES INTO THE FACE.