Chai Crème Brûlée
One of our favorite desserts, crème brûlée didn’t seem like a recipe that needed to be messed with. It’s rich, it’s creamy and it has a super-cool golden shell that can only be achieved with a mini blowtorch (which is also super-cool). But we were sold after trying our recipes editor’s version of the French classic, which features chai tea. This chai crème brûlée recipe has a delightful spiciness and amazing scent, not to mention a never-unwelcome hit of caffeine. It’s safe to say that the decadent dessert is most certainly our cup of tea.
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons loose chai tea or two chai tea bags
5 egg yolks
½ cup sugar, plus more for finishing
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Place four 6-ounce shallow ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a medium pot, bring the heavy cream and the tea to a simmer over medium heat. Once the cream comes to a simmer, remove the mixture from the heat and let it steep for 15 minutes.
3. Strain the cream (or remove the tea bags), then return it to a simmer over medium heat.
4. While the cream comes to a simmer, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.
5. Once the cream comes to a simmer, pour it gradually into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to combine.
6. Ladle the mixture into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, then pour hot water into the baking sheet so it comes about halfway up the ramekins.
7. Bake until the custard appears set at the surface but jiggles slightly when shaken, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the custard to room temperature (about 45 minutes), then refrigerate until completely chilled (at least 1 hour).
8. When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar on top of each custard, then shake the ramekin slightly to make sure the sugar is evenly distributed across the surface. Use a torch to brown the sugar into a caramel coating. Serve immediately.