This dessert is pretty wild. The earthy and nutty flavour of the Jerusalem artichokestake on another dimension when they are cooked and caramelised.
Peel and roughly slice the artichokes. In a medium-sized, heavy-based, non-reactive frying pan, melt the butter until it starts to bubble.
Add the artichokes to the pan and toss them over the heat until lightly browned. Add the sugar and vanilla bean and cook for around 10 minutes until the mixture turns a deep golden caramel.
Don’t hurry this part of the dish – it is important to get as much colour and caramel flavour as possible from the artichokes. Add the milk, bring to a gentle simmer and cook the artichokes for 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave the mixture to infuse for half an hour before straining through a piece of muslin.
In a large bowl mix together the egg yolks and caster sugar until the sugar dissolves. Put the thickened cream and pure cream in a saucepan with the infused milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour onto the eggs and sugar and whisk well. Stir in the truffle oil to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon).
Preheat the oven to 150?C (300?F). Place 6 small soufflé dishes or ramekins in a deep baking tray lined with a tea towel – this stops the dishes moving around while cooking. Fill each soufflé dish up to the brim with the brulée mix.
Pour hot water into the baking tray to come between halfway and two-thirds of the way up the sides of the soufflé dishes.
Cover the tray loosely with a sheet of foil and place in the oven to bake for 20–30 minutes, or until the brulées are just set. Allow them to cool and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Preheat the oven to 60?C (?F). Peel the artichoke and use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice it into fine wafers. Lay the wafers on a baking sheet lined with non-stick paper and place in the oven overnight (or for around 6 hours) to dry.
Once the artichoke wafers are crisp, remove them from the oven to cool, then store in an air-tight container.
Preheat your griller to its highest temperature. Remove the crème brulées from the fridge and sprinkle each one evenly with demarara sugar.
Place them under the grill for a few moments until the sugar caramelises, then leave them to cool and the sugar to set hard. If you have a domestic blowtorch, this is even more effective.
Dust the crispy artichoke wafers with icing sugar. Place each brulée on small plate and serve topped with 3 artichoke wafers.
This recipe is by The Star for as part of its #nevergrey campaign.
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