450ml double cream
100ml whole milk
2 vanilla pods, split, seeds scraped out
6 egg yolks
75g unrefined caster sugar, plus 40g more for the topping
Preheat the oven to 120C
Pour the cream and the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan. Split the vanilla pods down the middle with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds and add the seeds and the pods. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for half an hour.
Pour the caster sugar into a bowl with the yolks. Whisk together using a balloon whisk until well combined.
Bring the vanilla cream mixture back to a simmer. Pour it over the egg mixture, whisking all the time until thickened. Ladle the brulee mixture into individual ramekins. Discard the vanilla pods.
Place the ramekins into a deep baking tray and pour hot water into the tray, until the water reaches halfway up the sides of the dishes
Place this bain-marie into the preheated oven and cook the creme brulees for about 25-35 minutes, until just set but still with a slight wobble. Allow to cool. Slightly under cooked is better than slightly over.
You can place the brulees in the fridge at this stage if you're not serving them immediately.
For the topping, sprinkle remaining caster sugar on top of the brulees, shaking to get an even covering.
Heat the surface with a blowtorch until it forms a thin layer of caramel. Don't make this layer too thick. A gentle poke with a spoon should break through.
The crème brulees are ready to serve immediately or in 2-3 hours.
Sounds so much better than Cambridge burnt cream - this is really just vanilla custard with a caramelised sugar crust - easy but delicious