Valentine's Day - Saffron Creme Brulee


A French classic dessert, Creme brulee translates to ‘burnt cream’ and is a custard topped with caramelized sugar. Although traditionally, it is made with vanilla bean, I enjoy various versions of creme brulee, and one of my versions includes infusing creme brulee with the warm scented flavor of saffron, and a hint of cardamom..

The first time I had this creme brulee, it was at Taj hotel in Mumbai, India. I have always been a fan of creme brulee, and this was an interesting twist. As time does its magic, the deep golden color of saffron beautifully infuses into the creme brulee. Saffron is a warm spice, and is an aphrodisiac, so this is a perfect recipe for your Valentine!

Hands-on Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes, plus letting the Creme Brulee set for 8 hours

Main Equipment: 1 qt saucepan, medium-size mixing bowl, ramekins, blow torch

Serves: 4



6 egg yolks

⅓ cup white granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 ⅓ cups heavy cream

½ teaspoon saffron strands

¼ teaspoon ground green cardamom

3 teaspoons white granulated sugar

  • In a small mixing bowl, add egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan over low heat, heat heavy cream, saffron, and green cardamom until the mixture heats to 160 F.
  • Slowly pour this heavy cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture and keep stirring the egg yolk mixture as you add the cream. This will help eggs from not cooking. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 300 F.
  • Bring 3 cups water to a boil.
  • In a cake pan, place 4 ramekins.
  • Pour the mixture equally into each of the ramekins. If you see any bubbles on top, then use a blowtorch to diffuse air bubbles.
  • Carefully pour hot water around the ramekins until the hot water reaches half the level of the ramekins.
  • Carefully, place the cake pan into the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Check to see if the center of the ramekin jiggles just a little bit when you shake it gently. If it jiggles too much, then you may have to cook it for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and remove ramekins from the water bath. Set aside to cool.
  • Once the ramekins have cooled to a room temperature, place them in the refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  • Right before serving, add ⅔ teaspoon sugar on top of each of the ramekins and swirl so that the sugar spreads evenly.
  • Use a blowtorch and caramelize the sugar on top of the creme brulee. The best way to do it is slowly move across the creme brulee and you should be able to burn the sugar in one-go.





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