My all time favourite restaurant dessert is Crème Brûlée. In many restaurants it is the only dessert made “in house”. The reasons for this are simple enough, this is a very simple dish, keeps well, and only needs to have the sugar burnt before serving. Many other desserts require a baker or pastry chef, and have short shelf lives.
Crème Brûlée is a simple custard of cream, sugar and egg yolks with a thin layer of cooked sugar that becomes hard enough to crack, so that you can scoop out the custard beneath. The custard can be flavoured with different spices, but traditionally is made with vanilla. If you have vanilla beans, simply store one in a couple of cups of white sugar for a couple of weeks. This will give a lovely fragrance and taste to anything you use the sugar for. It’s okay to use pure vanilla extract, just don’t add too much.
The desserts in the photos are a bright creamy yellow because I use free-range eggs. Store bought eggs will make a much paler custard.