Honey & Thyme Creme Brûlée

This is a beautifully delicate & delicious dessert. It might sound a little eccentric to put herbs into a dessert, but actually the subtle fragrance of the thyme provides the perfect foil to the sweetness of the honey.


Ingredients
250ml double cream
2 tbsp honey
5 thyme stalks
50g caster sugar
3 egg yolks 

Makes 2-3 individual creme brûlées, depending on pot size 

Preheat the oven to 150°C (140°C fan). Begin by infusing the cream with the thyme - all you're going to use is the scent, not the actual herb. In a small saucepan, heat the cream & thyme to boiling point, then reduce to a simmer and leave for five minutes. 

In the meantime, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy - if you haven't got an electric whisk then you'll need to give it a good bit of elbow grease. Remove the thyme and bring the cream back to boiling point, then pour into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly, until thickened. Strain the mixture to get rid of any errant thyme leaves, then pour into 2 or 3 ramekins - mine are quite generous, so although this amount of mixture was perfect for me, you might have enough for three depending on how big your ramekins are. Leave at least a centimetre clear at the top of each pot. 

Place the ramekins in a deep roasting tray and create a Bain Marie by pouring in boiling water to come half way up the pots. Carefully transfer the tray to the oven and bake the creme brûlées for 45 minutes, until they're set but still a little bit wobbly in the middle. Put to one side to cool.

When you're ready to serve, sprinkle caster sugar over the top of each creme brûlée and caramelise - use a chef's blowtorch if you have one, otherwise, place the creme brûlées under the grill for a minute, but make sure you watch them like a hawk to avoid burning. Serve with cream and fresh fruit on the side - scrumptious.