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Guinness Crème Brulee With Irish Whiskey Snaps

This recipe is inspired by that of Jean-Baptiste Dubois, the chef at the Athenaeum Hotel in Waterford.


  • Crème brulee

  • 1 1/3 cup (350ml) Guinness

  • 1 1/3 cup (350ml) cream

  • 7 egg yolks

  • 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar

  • Icing sugar, for caramelising the tops

  • Whiskey snaps

  • ¼ cup (60g) butter

  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup

  • ¼ cup (55g) brown sugar, firmly packed

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 35g (¼ cup) plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Irish whiskey


  • 1.

    For crème brulee: place Guinness in a small saucepan and boil vigorously until reduced to 35ml.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile heat cream just to boiling point (in a small saucepan or in the microwave).

  • 3.

    In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar until light and fluffy. The mixture should form ‘ribbons’ when it runs off the beaters. Slowly pour the boiling cream into the sugar and egg mix and beat just until combined or mix gently by hand. Try to avoid getting too many bubbles. Add Guinness reduction and mix well.

  • 4.

    Pour the mixture back in to a clean saucepan and cook over a low heat or a double boiler, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (approximately 15 minutes). Pour the custard into 8 x 120ml ramekins and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

  • 5.

    For whiskey snaps: Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line two baking trays with baking paper or silicon baking maps.

  • 6.

    Melt butter, golden syrup and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. As soon as it starts to bubble, remove from heat and fold in ginger, flour and whiskey. Mix until smooth. Using two teaspoons, place a heaped teaspoon of mixture per snap on prepared trays, making sure the snaps are well spaced as they will flatten and spread in the oven. Bake in oven in batches for about 5-7 minutes until they are a rich golden brown. Leave the snaps on the baking sheet for a few minutes until cool enough to handle, then quickly loosen each snap from the tray one at a time with a palette knife. Working quickly, wrap each snap round a rolling pin with your hands, gently pressing into the round shape. Remove when set and allow to cool on a rack.

  • 7.

    To serve, dust the top of the brulees with icing sugar and caramelise with a blow torch or pack ramekins in ice and brown under the grill. Serve immediately with the whiskey snaps.

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