2. Into a heavy bottomed saucepan add milk double cream and full fat milk.
3. Split the vanilla pod and extract the seeds and put the seeds into the cream/milk mixture. You can also add the vanilla pod at this stage for additional flavor.
4. Place pan on medium heat and bring liquid to the boil.
5. Add caster sugar into a mixing bowl along with egg yolks and vanilla essence.
6. Whisk until smooth and creamy.
7. Once your cream/milk mixture is boiling, take it off the heat and remove the vanilla pod.
8. Mix a little of the creamy milk into the bowl with the eggs/sugar mixture and then add the rest, stirring as you go.
9. Then pour the mixture into ramekins up to the top and place them in an oven proof dish.
10. Add water to the dish so that it comes halfway up the ramekins - that's your bain marie.
11. Put into the pre-heated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes until they are firm but still wobbly.
12. Remove and cool on a rack for 30 minutes, before placing in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours for them to fully set.
13. Once set and just before serving, sprinkle a little demerara sugar on each to cover the entire surface and using a blow torch caramelize the sugar. If you do not have a blow torch, pop them under a hot grill but watch them very closely as it is easy to burn them.
14. Et voila! Ready to be enjoyed - I like to serve them with some home-made sable biscuits.
* Don't worry if you cannot get a vanilla pod just double the amount of vanilla essence that you put in with the eggs and sugar.
This is a version of the classic 300 years old European dessert. I will let you argue about its origin! There are plenty of versions out there but this vanilla one is one of the most popular and favorites. A lovely creamy dessert, suitable for any occasion!