Crème Brûlée in a Tea Cup

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 4 jumbo egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod or 5ml vanilla essence
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar

Whisk granulated sugar and egg yolks until thick and creamy. Add vanilla pod or essence, then pour in the cream in a steady stream. Place the mixture (custard) in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the spoon—about 20 min. Stir all over the base and sides of the pan to incorporate all the mixture. Immediately the custard thickens, remove from the stove. Remove the vanilla pod, if using. Allow to cool, then transfer the custard to a shallow ovenproof dish or 4 ramekins (125ml capacity). Refrigerate overnight to chill thoroughly.

Heat the grill until extremely hot. Cover the chilled custard with a thick, even layer of caster sugar and immediately place under the hot grill. Grill until the sugar melts and forms a fine, crisp, golden-brown layer. Watch sugar carefully, to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove the dishes from the oven and place in a sink or bowl of cold water or ice to cool. Wipe the bases dry and serve.

Delheim Spatzendreck Late Harvest 2008 complements this dish.

To shop from a selection of South Africa’s best wines, go to

Recipes by Diane Heierli, Photography C&D Heierli