Ask any chef to go back 10-15 years and name the number one selling dessert on their menu and I can guarantee that a crème brûlée would be right up there. Basically a crème brûlée is a baked custard that’s been allowed to cool and then had sugar burnt onto the top of it. It does not get any better! For this wonderful sweet all we are doing is cooking it the same as you would with a crème brûlée, but instead of allowing it to cool. We are serving it piping hot from the oven.
4 tbsp caster sugar
100g good quality dark chocolate
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
4 small Beurre Bosc pears
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp caster sugar
4 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 cup water
Recipe: Michael Van de Elzen
Preheat oven to 140°C (NOT fan-forced). Place cream, sugar, chocolate and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until hot (do not allow to boil). Remove saucepan from heat. Whisk egg yolks, and whole egg in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Remove vanilla beans from milk mixture. Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Place custard mix in fridge for 20 minutes to rest. After 20 minutes, skim all bubbles off the surface then pour into 4 small ovenproof bowls.
Place bowls in a deep roasting dish, then pour boiling water into the bottom of the dish until it reaches halfway up the bowls. Very carefully place the roasting dish in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
While the custards are in the oven, prepare the poached pears. Peel the pears (keeping stalk intact) and place in a large pot with wine, sugar, star anise, cinnamon and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. remove from heat and leave pears sitting in poaching liquor for 10 minutes. Remove pears and slice in half lengthways.
Upon removal from the oven, top each custard with a pear and spoon over a little of the poaching liquor. Serve immediately.