Green tea creme brulee with burnt orange

Photographer: Adam
Makes 30 small serves or 12 ramekins
Crème brulee is one of my favourite desserts, it is the smoothest richest custard and the crunchy caramel sugar topping adds that extra something that tips it over the edge to ultimate deliciousness, definitely a decadent dessert for a celebratory feast.  The first restaurant I worked at, Shed 5 on Wellington’s waterfront, had the most amazing pastry section, which I was very honoured to get to work on. The chef heading it was a real character who made me feel right at home and took me under his wing, he was also extremely talented and luckily for me always keen to pass on knowledge. When it came to crème brulee he had rules, for summer it should be fresh light flavours, reserving richer flavours for the autumn/winter months, it should always be served with a crunchy biscuit which in addition to the crunchy caramel added good variation to the textures. Finally for colour and freshness, there should be a side of fruit.Here is my variation that sticks to those rules. The recipe can be adjusted to change flavours as it is a really good base, you can also swap in any biscuit you like, try biscotti or macaroons. Just remember if your custard has a subtler flavour, like this recipe, keep the biscuit flavour reasonably low key so as not to over power it.


1L Cream
50g green tea (use a traditional Japanese green tea with roasted rice in it, others will be too bitter, this is readily available from the international section of most supermarkets)
12 egg yolks
200g caster sugar

125g butter softened
250g icing sugar
150g flour
175g egg whites


1. Combine the cream and green tea in a medium sized pot, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 20 minutes.
2. Re-boil the cream mix, meanwhile whisk together the egg yolks with the sugar, slowly pour the hot cream mix whilst mixing into the egg mix.
3. Strain and pour into desired moulds (ramekins are a classic way to serve crème brulee, I chose to cook mine in two larger rectangular baking trays 24cmx15cm and serve quenelles of it).
4. Cook in a bain marie (a large roast dish filled with water, be careful not to overfill usually ½ to ¾ up the side of the brulee moulds will do the trick) at 160°C covered with foil for one hour or until set. Refrigerate and then serve.
5. To serve sprinkle caster sugar over the custard, pour off excess, ensure all of the custard is covered. Either caramelize with a blow torch or put into an ice bath and caramelize it under the grill (note that this method can only be used when the custard is in ramekins or similar containers).

1. Cream the butter and sugar, until almost white.
2. Gradually add in the egg whites and then flour beat the mixture on a low setting until smooth. Refrigerate for half an hour to an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
4. Smooth out the mix using moulds of desired shape* (to make moulds you can either cut out shapes from ice cream containers or use acetate) and a palette knife, bake until golden ~10-15min** and then shape, to shape the tear drops we simply used the palette knife to hold down the fat end of the tear drop and pulled up the thin end alternatively you can use a bowl or appropriate glass

To serve
Spoon out quenelles*** (using a spoon dipped in hot water and dried to scrape a roll off the surface) of the custard onto the curved tear drop shaped tuiles, sprinkle caster sugar onto the surface and using a blow torch gently burn the sugar. Segment oranges and sprinkle caster sugar onto each segment, burn with blow torch and serve on crème brulee.

Tips and tricks
For the definition of a tuile click here.
For the definition of quenelle click here.
* When cutting shapes for tuile moulds remember to leave only 20mm round the outside so you can fit a few tuilles on the tray.
** Cook only three to four tuiles at a time so you have adequate time to shape them as they can only be shaped whilst hot.
***Quenelles can be done with one spoon much the same way you roll an ice cream scoop or formed with two spoons to make a perfect oval shaped roll of the custard. Use hot water to make the spoons hot which will prevent them from sticking but remember to dry them off.