This is so delicious, even when it's undercooked, as it was in Vancouver. I
put the custard in the refrigerator overnight, then cooked it the same amount of
time as I normally do, which didn't account for it being cold. Still, it was
good. I've decided it's a three day dish. Cook the custard and strain it the
first day. Strain again and cook in ramekins the second day. Refrigerate
overnight and do the brûlée (I follow Glenys' instructions and do it in two thin
coats) just before serving the third day.
White Chocolate Ancho Crème Brûlée
3 cups heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1 dried ancho chile, with seeds, stemmed, chopped
Pinch of ground cumin
1/3 cup plus 6 tsp sugar (divided use)
6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
6 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine first four ingredients plus 1/3 cup sugar in a heavy large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and stir with whisk until melted and smooth. Let steep for up to thirty minutes to intensify the flavor. Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend, and gradually stir in white chocolate mixture. Strain mixture to remove ancho and cinnamon stick.
Divide custard among eight 3/4 cup custard cups or soufflé dishes. Place cups in heavy baking pan and add enough water to pan to come halfway up side of cups. Bake until almost set in the center, about 35 minutes. Remove from water and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Mix remaining 6 teaspoons of sugar with ground cinnamon in small bowl, and sprinkle sugar mixture over custards. Use broiler, salamander, crème brûlée torch, or blow torch to heat topping until sugar melts and caramelizes. Transfer to plates and serve. (You can top with a fresh strawberry and whipping cream if desired.)
Note: the original recipe did not call for letting the mixture steep, but I found the flavor much better when this was done.
Source of recipe: Chef Mark Elliott via MadMom
Glenys' note: Your custard should be cold, moist and set thoroughly. You should be able to dust it with a layer of white sugar, shake away or level any extra, but it should adhere in a sheer layer. Once your skilled at the torching, you'll know how thick and how thin. One layer is never enough, just like warm custard and a half set caramel is dismal. It's a simple dessert but that doesn't mean it's without its principles.