Friday, June 24, 2005

Recipe: Creme Anglaise

(Originally part of IMBB 16: Eggs)

I've decided to tidy up the recipe and change it to an entry devoted solely to Creme Anglaise, the rich custard sauce that goes so wel with so many desserts.

Ingredients (Serves 2, or 1 Cup)

4 egg yolks
100ml milk, or half-and-half
50g sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
30g butter

Creme Anglaise meez

If you'll notice, this is almost exactly the same as the Creme Brulee recipe, except with less cream. In fact, the procedure for making it is exactly the same as well.

Milk and sugar

Heat your milk and half the sugar till it's almost boiling (if it's got cream in it then make sure it doesn't boil) and the sugar has dissolved completely. Add the vanilla extract and let it flavour the milk.

Egg yolks and sugar

Add the remaining sugar to your egg yolks. An interesting reaction occurs in which your yolks get "burnt" by the sugar if you leave them too long, so start whisking immediately.

Pale yellow

Keep whisking till the yolks have thickened and turned pale yellow. If you lift your whisk and let the yolk fall back into the bowl, it should leave a trail on the surface, called "forming the ribbon". You could keep whisking till the yolks are almost white, but that is very tiring.


Temper your yolks by whisking some of the hot milk into them.

Whisking the sauce

Then whisk the yolks back into the remainder of your milk.

Coats a spoon

Over low heat, whisk your custard until it thickens, taking care not to scramble your eggs. Whisk in the butter to give it that creamy liaison. Heat it till it coats the back of a spoon, in other words, until you can draw a line as shown in the photo.

Creme Anglaise

Strain your creme anglaise into a separate container. This custard sauce is particularly versatile, and it may be served hot or cold, and is a good accompaniment to all sorts of desserts, including souffles, floating islands, molten chocolate cakes and other sweet treats.

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