Black Sesame Creme Brulee

Black Sesame Creme Brulee from Saka Gura

I ate at Saka Gura in NYC in August with my friend Michiko and they have this amazing black sesame creme brulee that just rocked my world.  Wow!  It was awesome! When I came back, I searched all over for some ideas on how to replicate it. It's close but not as good as I remember at the restaurant.  My best friend Cynthia says that it is her favorite dessert that I make.  So I guess it's really good. It's hard to find black sesame paste or powder but I found some in our local asian grocery (Asian Midway for those in the know in Madison, WI). It's in the coffee and tea aisle.  Apparently the black sesame powder is used as a drink with either hot water or milk-something I didn't know. If you can't find the powder or paste you can always make it yourself by putting the black sesame seeds in a coffee grinder.  It has to be a fine grind.  You will love this!

This is a recipe that I adapted from Nibbledish.

Black Sesame Crème Brule

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP of black sesame powder
  • 4 large egg YOLKS
  • 5 TBSP sugar, plus extra for dusting

(Makes 8 small ramekins)

Preheat your oven to 240°F.

Place the ramekins in a roasting pan

Place the cream in a heavy-based saucepan with the black sesame powder, and heat gently until just before it comes to the boil. Remove from heat, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow black sesame flavor to infuse.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar until mixture is pale and frothy.

Strain about half a cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks, and whisk thoroughly. Strain in the remainder in 3 batches, whisking thoroughly in between to ensure that the egg doesn't get overheated and curdle.

Divide the custard between the ramekins, ensuring that each one is filled right to the brim (it will shrink a bit as it cooks). Pour boiling water into the roasting tray so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins carefully, ensuring that it doesn't splash INTO the ramekins. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until the custard is just set. Do NOT overcook.

Remove from the oven, cool ramekins on a rack, then refrigerate overnight. (They can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.)

To serve, sprinkle a layer of sugar over each ramekin, and blowtorch to melt the sugar. If you don't have a blowtorch, you can place it under a very hot grill, but watch carefully to make sure the sugar doesn't burn.