This will make 8 ramekins.
- 4 cups chilled heavy cream
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 Vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- 12 large egg yolks
- 8-12 teaspoons of Turbinado or Demerara sugar
- 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of Chai Spice (fine ground, from Chai-Wallah.com)
Adust the oven shelf to middle position and heat to 300F (150C) degrees.
Combine 2 cups of cream, granulated sugar and salt into a saucepan.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod into the pan and submerge the pod in the cream.
If you are using vanilla extract whisk it in later with the egg yolks.
Bring the cream to the boil and add the chai spice, simmer gently for a few minutes and take off the heat. Steep for 15 minutes to infuse the flavor.
Meanwhile, place a kitchen towel in the bottom of a roasting or baking dish, arrange the ramekin dishes on towel. Evenly space them apart.
Bring a kettle or saucepan of water to the boil.
After cream has infused add the remaining two cups to cool it down further.
Gently whisk the egg yolks together until just broken up, if using vanilla extract put it in now. Whisk in a cup of cream mixture to the yolks and repeat until all combined with the yolks. Do not whisk too much as you do not want to create air bubbles. Strain into a picher and pour into the ramekins, toss the solids.
Carefully place the dish with the ramekins in the oven and pour on the boiling water taking care not to splash any into the custard. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes depending how shallow or deep your ramekins are. The temperature in the center should register 170 to 175 degrees. iIf you do not have a thermometer then judge it by shaking the ramekins a little…they should still jiggle!
When done, transfer to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until well chilled.
The best way to caramelize the top is to use a small blow torch.
Sprinkle the top with 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar and using the blow torch, caramelize the top… chill for no longer than 30 minutes and serve.