Five-Spice Crème Brulée

Five-spice Creme Brulee.jpg


Serves 6 to 8

1 cinnamon stick, broken up
2 whole star anise
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped out
2 tbsp sliced ginger root
5 whole cloves
3 strips orange zest
1 oz Venturi-Schulze Brandenburg No.3
18 oz whipping cream
5 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
sugar for caramelizing


Combine the first 6 ingredients in a non-reactive container. Pour in the No.3 and cream, stir well to combine, cover and allow to infuse for 1 to 3 days in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 325°F. To prepare custard:

In a medium stainless steel bowl, stir the egg yolks and ½ cup sugar together until the grittiness goes away. Strain the infused cream through a fine sieve into the egg mixture and stir well, but do not whisk. Portion the custard into ramekins and set them in a shallow baking dish. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Set the baking dish with the custards in the middle of the preheated oven and pour the boiling water into the dish until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake for 25 minutes or until set. To test for doneness, touch the custard with your fingertip. If it sticks to your finger, it is not done yet, so continue to bake.

Remove the baked custards from the oven and carefully lift them from the water bath. Cool for 20 minutes before setting in the fridge. This point can be reached the day before.

To serve: sprinkle an even layer of sugar on each custard and use a propane torch to melt the sugar, being careful not to blacken it too much. Let them set 5 minutes before serving.

The taste combination with the No.3 wine is dynamite!