You thought Dubai couldn't possibly get any warmer ?  Think again : this crème brûlée is about to turn the heat a notch up !


Once upon a time, in the kitchens at Le Cirque, they made a crema catalana custard, “but then Mom realized that she’d used up all the sugar and had none left for the topping. So she grabbed a box of Domino’s brown sugar, grated it over and put the dessert in the top rack of the broiler. It created a sheet of brown glaze. Ecco, Le Cirque’s crème brûlée was born – by accident,” remembers Marco Maccioni.


4 servings :


2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped.
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
Half a cup granulated sugar
8 teaspoons sugar in the raw for glazing


1. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream with the vanilla bean, seeds and salt over medium heat until bibbles appear around the edge.


2. In a large glass measuring cup, blend the egg yolks and granulated sugar with a wooden spoon. Slowly add the hot cream mixture, stirring gently. Remove the vanilla bean.


3. Arrange 4 shallow 4-inch-long ramekins in a roasting pan. Slowly put the custard into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Set the roasting pan in the center of the oven and carefully pour in enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with foil and bake until the custards are firm at the edges but still a bit wobbly in the center, about 1 hour.


4. Transfer the ramekins to a rack to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.


5. Heat the broiler. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and blot the surfaces of the custards to remove any condensation. Using a small sieve, sift 2 teaspoons of the sugar in the raw over each custard in a thin, even layer. Broil the custards on the top rack of the oven until the sugar is evenly caramelized, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve at once.


Bonne dégustation !

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