Masala Chai Crème Brulée

Serves 8 (4-¼-inch diameter) ramekins


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 clove
  • 1 (1-inch) chunk fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 black tea bags (such as Tetley Classic blend or Tetley Chai tea)
  • 1½ cups Godiva white baking chocolate (8 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar


Preheat the oven at 325 degrees F. Finely chop the Godiva white chocolate bar into small pieces and set aside. In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream, milk, cardamom, clove, ginger and cinnamon. Bring it to a near boil. Turn off the heat immediately and add the white chocolate piees and tea bags. Using a spatula, keep stirring until the chocolate is fully incorporated. Let the tea steep for about 2 to 4 minutes maximum, depending on how strong you want the tea flavor.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 5 tablespoons of sugar until they become pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Combine the dairy mixture (above) with the egg mixture by slowly adding a ladle at a time to prevent the yolks from curdling. Strain through a fine mesh to discard all the solids and spices.

Fill 8 ramekins with the crème brulée custard. Place them in a warm water bath in a deep baking pan. The water should be at least a 1-½-inch-high on the ramekins. Loosely cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. The crème brulée should wiggle but note be liquidly as the custard will get firmer as it chills in the refrigerator.

Allow the crèmes brulée to cool completely first, then plastic-wrap each individual cup and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

When serving, unwrap the cups and sprinkle about 1-½ teaspoons of sugar in each cup, then caramelize with a culinary torch.

Recipe courtesy ©2010 Sonia Hunt
Sonia’s Suggested Pairing: Masala Chai Tea

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