Matcha Crème Brûlée
Crème brûlée is one of those fancy desserts that shockingly don’t take a ton of ingredients or time to make. I’m always playing around with the basic goodness , and this green tea version is a new favorite – light, delicately-scented, and simple.
The key ingredient here is matcha, a finely milled green tea powder that you can pick up at specialty, gourmet, and Japanese grocers. I love this stuff and all you really need is a teaspoon or so to transform a basic dessert or cake into something a bit more special. Beyond using it here, it’s delicious in crèpe batter, shortbread cookies, cheesecake and simple vanilla cupcakes….it’s fantastic to add to baked items because you don’t need to adjust your wet-dry ratios at all.
Yields 4-5 (5-inch) oval ramekins
2 cups heavy creaam
1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
¼ tsp salt
5 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar plus extra, for brulée
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
In a saucepan, heat heavy cream, matcha powder, vanilla bean, and salt. Bring mixture up to a boil on medium heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl or stand mixer, whisk egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and honey until well blended and light yellow in color. It should look very creamy at this point.
Strain cream mixture through a fine sieve and add it in small amounts to the yolks, whisking after each addition. You want to slowly bring up the temperature of the yolks (not scramble). Transfer custard to a measuring cup or something that pours easily.
Place paper towels in one or two different baking dishes (depending on size) and set the ramekins inside. Carefully, pour the custard ¾ of the way up into the ramekins. Then, add boiling water to the baking dishes so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. I bake these in a water bath, and the paper towels help the ramekins from sliding around and also help reduce the risk of splash as you pour the water into the dishes.
Bake at 325° F for 35 minutes. It should still jiggle slightly. Remove from water bath and let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Cover in plastic wrap (don’t let it touch the surface), and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours in order to set the custard.
Coat the top of the custard in each ramekin with a layer of sugar. Turn over to remove excess. Carefully, using a torch, brûlée the sugar, working in circles evenly over the ramekins.
Note: if you use larger or deeper ramekins, the cooking time will inevitably be longer. The key things are the water bath and also that it still jiggles when it comes out. You want smooth, creamy custard, not overcooked and curd-like.