Brulee means ‘burned’ in French and in this case it refers to sugar that is caramelised under a griller to make a delicious topping. You may have come across creme brulee in a restaurant, where a layer of toffee has to be cracked to get to the thick, rich custard underneath.
I love the tang of the ginger in this delicious and incredibly simple dessert. The dish relies on using the right-shaped bowls (shallow) and an efficient overhead griller, and the yoghurt must be drained to lose some of its whey.
- 200g plain Greek yoghurt
- 350g seedless grapes, washed and stems removed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup soft brown sugar
Drain the yoghurt in a muslin-lined strainer resting over a bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
While the yoghurt is draining, choose four 125ml shallow gratin dishes. Divide the grapes between the dishes, packing them in tightly in a single layer. Chill the grapes in their dishes.
Spoon the yoghurt over the grapes, then smooth and press it around the grapes with the back of a teaspoon. You are aiming for a smooth surface, just glimpsing the shapes underneath. Chill the filled dishes for one hour or longer – do not cover them.
When you are ready to serve, preheat an overhead griller to maximum.
Mix the ground ginger into the sugar, making sure there are no tiny lumps of sugar. Sprinkle and smooth an even layer of this mixture over the yoghurt, using the back of a teaspoon until no yoghurt is visible.
Place the dishes on a baking tray and slide them under the griller, then watch carefully. In less than a minute, the sugar will caramelise and start to bubble. (Ask for help if you are at all nervous about this step.)
Carefully remove the baking tray (again, you may need help) and allow the dishes to settle. Don’t try to eat this dessert until the sugar has stopped bubbling as it will be very hot! Don’t let it sit for too long, though, or the crust may soften.
Recipe taken from The Cook’s Apprentice by Stephanie Alexander.
The Cook’s Apprentice is the essential teaching cookbook for the younger cook who’s just starting out. This wonderful book is full to the brim with everything new foodies need to know to become relaxed and confident in the kitchen.
Arranged alphabetically, The Cook’s Apprentice includes 56 ingredient chapters – from Apples to Zucchini – and more than 300 achievable recipes ranging from classics every cook will want to try to exciting new dishes that reflect our diverse nation. Stephanie takes you into her kitchen as she explains more than 100 important techniques in straightforward language, discusses the kitchen tools she likes to use, and describes ingredients you might not know: How do I whisk eggs to soft peaks? What does it mean to ‘make a well’ in dry ingredients? Why should I roast spices? How do I prepare fresh chillies safely? What is ‘resting meat’ and why should I do it? How do I prepare a mango? What flavours work well together? What is fresh mozzarella? How do I say ‘quinoa’?
The Cook’s Apprentice gives all you new cooks the inspiration you need for a lifetime of enjoyment in the kitchen.
You can buy The Cook’s Apprentice at penguin.com.au