Molasses-ginger crème brûlée

A sweet twist on a favourite dessert!

For years, I didn’t think I would ever tinker with traditional crème brûlée. I mean, why mess with perfection, right? But the minute I started trying different flavour profiles, I was hooked. I really like this apple pie version as well as this maple one, and I absolutely adore this clementine-cardamom one. In case you were not aware, you can cook the custard in the ramekins and refrigerate up to 72 hours before serving, but it’s best to torch the sugar just before serving. I love serving cookies with crème brûlée to offer a textural counterpoint – these molasses-ginger cookies are a perfect flavour match, but maple shortbreads would be terrific also.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (750 mL) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4.2 g) ground ginger
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) vanilla extract
  • Additional granulated sugar, for topping

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Bring a teakettle of water to a boil while you prepare the custard.
  • Place eight half-cup (125 mL) ramekins in a baking dish large enough to have at least a half inch (1.25 cm) gap between the ramekins (use two pans if necessary).
  • Stir together the granulated sugar, ginger, eggs and egg yolks and molasses. I like to use a 4 cup (1 L) measure or large heatproof jug for this, as it makes it easier to pour into the ramekins, but you can use a large bowl as well.   
  • Heat the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave until it just barely begins to boil. Slowly pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Divide the custard mixture evenly between the ramekins. Carefully pour the hot water from the kettle into the baking pan(s) holding the ramekins; you want there to be enough water to reach about three quarters of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or just until the custards are set. The centres should jiggle slightly when the baking pan is gently wiggled.
  • Remove the ramekins from the baking pan and let cool on a wire rack. When at room temperature, transfer to the refrigerator. When completely cool, cover. Before serving, sprinkle each ramekin with a tablespoon (12.5 g) of granulated sugar and brûlée (melt) the sugar with a blowtorch or under the broiler.
  • Serve within 15 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and YouTube.

6 thoughts

  1. I’m confused by the instructions—reheat the strained cream-but I couldn’t see a step that heated/strained cream. Am I missing something? Or are you meant to strain after adding to eggs?

    1. Thanks for catching my error, June! When I first made the recipe I warmed the cream with minced fresh gingerroot, then let it steep. It then needed to be strained and reheated. Second attempt involved powdered ginger and therefore no steeping required – easier, and produced exactly the same flavour. I have updated the recipe. I appreciate you reaching out with your question!

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