Creamy Vanilla Choc Chai Brûlée

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I love the idea of chai tea.   What’s not to love?  That heady enticing aroma of spices.  Cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and pepper swirling around in a hot tea drink just smells so divine.

Except it is a tea drink with milk.  I have never liked milk in tea.  Ever.  So I struggle with the reality of chai.  I’m not a huge fan of it as a standard black tea drink either.

I feel this way about a number of flavoured black teas.  They smell like strawberries and cream, fruits, desserts, flowers … I can’t drink them.   Fragrant teas do lend themselves rather well to desserts though so … 🙂

A great flavoured tea can make a simple dessert extra special.  They are amazing when used to infuse ganache for chocolates or to infuse fillings for macarons, cakes, pastries, gelato and other creamy desserts.

Today is Mother’s Day and for the past week my mother has been laid low with bronchitis and a sinus infection.  I haven’t seen her this unwell in years.  So, this year, instead of a gift and an outing … I did her washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking, and waited on her hand and foot.

I suffered through Pretty Woman and our bazillionth rerun of Pride & Prejudice (the BBC series, naturally).   Suffered?  Well, yes, I’m not a huge fan.  But then she’s suffered through Star Trek, Buffy, and Firefly for me, so it’s the least I can do, right?  😉

Then I made her crème brûlée.   Because a great classic dessert can take your mind off the fact that you feel like rubbish and makes watching movies together a bit special.

That chai tea?  Well, hot damn if it doesn’t just make the most fragrant, spicy and delicious crème brûlée!

The whole house just smelled divine.

I like to think all those spices are working their magic on mum and she’ll be 100% again soon.

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You need a closer look, don’t you?  All that burnt sugar caramel on top.  It’s like a siren call 😉

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Then, you break through the caramelised sugar and dive into the creamy lusciousness underneath.

It’s just pure decadence … and so simple.

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Okay, okay … here’s the recipe.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Creamy Vanilla Chocolate Chai Brûlée

Yield: Serves 4 to 6 depending on the size of ramekin you use

You don’t need a stand mixer or any special equipment for this recipe. All you need is a hand held whisk. Revel in the whisk!

It’s fast and simple but a truly decadent, lush and elegant dessert. It can be made a day or two in advance and caramelise just before serving. Store the brûlée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.


300 grams cream (35% fat)

200 grams whole milk

4 grams ground vanilla bean powder* OR 2 vanilla beans

10 grams T2 Chocolate Chai Tea (or your favourite chai)

100 grams egg yolks (about 5 if using 60g eggs)

65 grams caster sugar

40 grams demerera sugar

*I use Heilala Ground Vanilla Powder


Preheat the oven to 130℃. Place 4 large or 6 medium ramekins into a baking dish and set aside.

Weigh and measure all your ingredients before you start.

Place the cream, milk, vanilla powder, and tea into a saucepan. If you are using whole vanilla beans, split each bean lengthwise. Scrape out ALL the seeds. Add the seeds and the bean pods to the cream.

Place over a medium heat and bring to boiling point. Switch off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, until light and well combined.

Bring the tea infused cream mixture to the boil again. Remove from the heat and strain a little into the egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the rest of the cream, through the strainer, over the egg yolk mixture. Press down on the tea leaves to extract every last bit of flavour!

Whisk the egg and cream mixture until combined.

Pour into the ramekins.

Pour some boiling water into the baking dish. A good rule of thumb is enough water to cover halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake at 130℃ for about 60 minutes, until the creme sets, but is still wobbly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

To serve, sprinkle the demerera sugar evenly over the tops of each ramekin.

Use a blowtorch to lightly caramelise the sugar.

If you don’t have a blowtorch, you could place the brulees under a grill for a few minutes to caramelise the sugar.

Serve immediately!


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