I'm Beth, a vertically-challenged photographer, stylist, recipe developer and explorer. Welcome to my blog!

Chai Infused Creme Brulee

Chai Infused Creme Brulee

Whole milk from East Coast Organic Milk Cooperative.  Organic cane sugar, dark chocolate, and loose leaf Roobios tea from Just Us Coffee Roasters Coop - these were the ingredients I discovered in my Brown Bag. This September, some of the Halifax Food Bloggers are competing in a recipe challenge sponsored by these two  great local businesses.  Participants were each given a brown bag of mystery goodies to create an original recipe which features milk, and includes all of the other items provided.  

silver tray with creme brulee in espresso cup
milk, eggs, sugar, chai spices mize enplace

It didn't take me long to decide what I would make,  a tea infused custard.  I just needed to work out the flavour profile.  So, I drank a lot of Roobios tea, tasting different spices and flavorings until I can up with a combination that would compliment the dark chocolate.  Finally, I decided on a chai inspired infusion for the custard which I would layer on top of crumbled chocolate and bake in little espresso cups.  As a finishing touch, I added a brûlée of sugar on top. 

I'm thrilled with the results!  The layers of textures is a treat, but the layers of flavours, extraordinary.  The spicy tea infusion with just a touch of citrus has a lot of depth.  Every spoonful is different, and the dish becomes progressively less sweet from the top down.   The creamy custard is one thing when combined with the caramelized sugar on top, and something very different when combined with dark chocolate on the bottom.  Which tends to leave you wanting more.  As rich as this recipe may seem, it's relatively low in fat, so it's perfectly fine to have two, or maybe three...

espresso cup with chai spiced creme brulee

Roobios Chai Creme Brûlée with a Dark Chocolate Surprise

To prepare these healthy little treats for yourself you will need: 

For the infusion

2 tablespoons Roobios Tea Leaves, 2 small cinnamon sticks, 1 whole clove, 2 black peppercorns, a 3 inch strip of orange peel, 1 slice crystalized ginger, and 3 cardamom pods.

For the custard

2 cups East Coast Organic milk, 2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk, 1/2 cup raw cane sugar + an extra 1/3 cup for the brulee, and 60 grams of Just Us dark chocolate, coarsely chopped.

Combine the milk and all the ingredients of for the chai infusion in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until small bubbles begin to form on the surface, but don't let it boil.  Remove the mixture from the heat and cover, allow to steep for 20 minutes.  The aroma will be heavenly, you will be tempted to drink the mixture directly from the pot, resist these urges. 

Add sugar and eggs to a medium sized bowl, and whisk to combine.  Strain milk through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup with a spout to remove all solids.  Gradually pour the warm milk infusion into the egg mixture whisking constantly.  This is your custard base.

torch caramelizing sugar

Distribute chocolate evenly in the bottom of 6 small espresso cups, and then gently pour the custard over the morsels.  Some small pieces will rise to the top, but most will remain on the bottom as a delicious surprise.  Bake in a preheated oven at 325F in a  Bain Marie covered loosely with foil for 45-50 minutes.  The centers should still be slightly jiggly when you take them out of the oven.  Let cool to room temperature, before chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

To create the caramelized sugar top, simply sprinkle the surface with sugar to about 1/8 inch thick.  Using a torch, working quickly, melt the sugar to a golden caramel colour, here's how.  

This recipe comes together quickly, and results are really something special, I hope you try it yourself sometime soon.



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