Just last week, here at Capella Singapore, the kitchen was abuzz with a big dinner event that was happening in one of our manors. As I was walking past our pastry kitchen I chanced upon a large tray of glorious desserts about to be whisked away by our eager waiters. Among them was a row of delicious golden creme brulee.
I for one have never been very successful at making a nice creme brulee, so I decided to find out the secret behind them. Fortunately for me, our very talented Pastry Chef Chek Yong Sam, or Sam as he is affectionately known, was kind enough to share both the recipe and some tips.
Of course, this was not your average Creme Brulee, but a Pandan Coconut Creme Brulee, an interesting fusion of a Western dessert with traditional Eastern flavors.
Pandan Coconut Creme Brulee
2 Pandan Leaves
250gms Coconut Milk
250gms Whipping Cream
75gms White Sugar
160gms egg yolks
(Pinch of salt- optional)
White sugar for caramelizing
- Blend the coconut milk and the pandans leaves together and then strain the mixture.
- Heat the coconut milk and pandan leaves mixture to about 70 degrees Celsius.
- Add in the cream and sugar and egg yolks and mix well. Strain using a very fine sieve.
- Pour mixture into ramekins and place in a large pan that has been partially filled with hot water. Bake in the over at 150 degrees Celsius for about 20minutes, careful not to let the center harden.
- Remove from the oven and allow the creme brulee to cool. Cover the ramekins and put inside the fridge to chill.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle some white sugar over the top and melt with a blow torch.
- Serve with an Asian fruit sorbet or tropical fruits.
On top of sharing the recipe, Chef Sam also dropped a few hints on how to perfect the art of making a Creme Brulee:
- A small pinch of salt can be added to enhance the natural sweetness of the coconut milk.
- The creme brulee is considered ready to be removed from the oven if it has trembles slightly when shaken. The remaining heat from the creme brulee will continue to cook the eggs.
- Allow the creme brulee to cool naturally as this will create a thin dry film over the creme brulee which will help when caramelizing the sugar.
- This recipe can be prepared in advance. In fact, the flavor improves if it is left for a day after it is baked.
I plan to use this recipe at my next dinner party—it is sure to impress my guests!