Recipe: Classic Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée is a classic dessert. Don’t be fooled by its apparent simplicity (isn’t it just custard and a bit of toffee?). Each mouthful is a revelation of contrast: smooth custard against crispy toffee, delicate vanilla spiked with the heady scent of caramelised sugar. Divine.

Crème brûlée - French vanilla custard served in individual ramekins, hidden under a crunchy layer of caramelised toffee

This recipe is unapologetically rich, full of cream, sugar and egg yolks. But tell you what… it was oh so easy! The few ingredients I blended then divided into individual ramekins, which gently baked in a hot water bath, until just set.
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Eat: Circa Espresso Parramatta

My favourite cafe at the moment is in Parramatta. It’s nowhere near my work, it’s a forty minute drive from home, yet I’m hooked on Circa Espresso. Why? Reminiscent of the hip café vibe in Melbourne, this cool place has set the standard for cafe culture in western Sydney.

Circa Espresso, Parramatta

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Strawberry Tart with Creme Anglaise

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is a great opportunity for the Cancer Council to raise money for cancer research, prevention, education and support services. My workplace got involved last week and we were encouraged to not only contribute a plate of morning tea, but a competition was initiated with prizes for the best team and individual baking efforts.

Strawberry tart, filled with creme angalise and topped with strawberries, milk chocolate and candied almonds

This threw my team into lengthy discussion. We wanted to win, but what would we make? I convinced my team to make a Tim Tam cake, riding on the success of my Mother’s Day dessert. So in true team-work spirit, the tasks were split into manageable steps – my manager baked the cake, I made the icing, and my other workmate assembled it all together beautifully.

I wasn’t really involved in the cooking process for the Tim Tam cake, so in the name of cancer research I decided to also make a short crust pastry tart, topped with fresh strawberries and oozed crème anglaise.
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