LITTLE POTS OF CREME BRULEE | guilt-free indulgence

Serves min 10 | 10 mins prep + 25min bake + 4hrs cooling time I don't believe in missing out and I don't believe in being miss piggy but sometimes you desire a dessert that's creamy softness, smooth and sweet - especially if it's the weekend and you have people over. Rather than getting stressed over a high sugar and high saturated fat level - just work around it. Make your serve size smaller, pop fruit on the side and to be honest you can skip the fiddly brulee part and have a thin nutty wafer bikkie to dip. And if you are still feeling you are breaking your new found mantra - substitute stevia for sugar. What are you waiting for? BEAUTY BOOST: Um well - lets talk eggs because there is one in every 100ml of liquid in a brulee and they are fabulous little bundles of body beautifying nutrients. The obvious one is powerful protein - it contains all the essential amino acids that help build and repair the muscle and tissue below your skin, the stuff that supports how skin looks and we all know what well toned muscles look like! The yoke is rich, rich, rich in fat soluble Vitamins A, E and naturally occurring D, lecithin and a spectrum of carotenoid antioxidants including lutein (great for increasing skin's elasticity), recent research found it to be better bioavailable source than green veggies! These food actives help neutralize free radicals, preventing damage to your skin. So get cracking! YOU'LL NEED..... 6 egg yokes 600ml cream (regular not double) 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar * 1 vanilla bean pod - extra sugar for brulee or dipping wafers such as almond bread - on the side: fruit of your choice. eg blueberries, or orange segments, or poached quinces (cause it's autumn now!) TO MAKE..... 1. Preheat oven to 150°C. 2. Fold a tea towel in half and place in a large baking tin, make sure it is flat. Sit 10-12 little shaped cups (<80ml) ontop. 3. Place cream in a small saucepan. Use a small, sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the cream. Add the bean to the cream mixture. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer (do not boil). Set aside. 4. In a medium size bowl, add eggs and sugar, whisk together until well combined. 5. Remove and discard vanilla pod from cream. 6. Gradually whisk the vanilla cream into the egg-yolk mixture until well combined. 7. Pour evenly among the prepared dishes. 8. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the dishes. 9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until nearly set. NOTE - should still be a bit soft in middle - do not overcook. 10. Take dishes out of tray immediately to stop them cooking. Pop into fridge to cool for at least 4 hours - overnight is fine too. Make sure you cover with plastic wrap to stop flavours being absorbed. 11. If you are going to make the brulee, sprinkle liberally with sugar and torch with brulee gun* - I find the griller hopeless - the sugar burns in places not others, the dishes go black, you burn your fingers! TIPS & TRICKS * add quantity of sugar to your taste! - I like to have a smooth surface on the 'creme' as I don't 'brulee' it - do this by pouring the final cream mix through a strainer, if there are still bubbles on the surface before going in the oven - gently 'dab' each pot with a piece of paper towel. - a brulee torch is about $30 from a cooking shop. But beware it does take a while to do them all! And you can't prep a long way before serving as the toffee will turn to liquid caramel very quickly. - if you want to reduce or replace the sugar, I am pretty sure you can use stevia liquid - a natural plant whose leaves are 100 times sweeter than can sugar. I don't particularly like the flavour of it so you'll just have experiment with the quantity you'll need - start with 20 drops - you may need up to 40.drops. 2-3 drops = 1 tspn sugar. KIDS - needless to say they LOVE them
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