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Coconut crème brûlées

26 November 2018

These coconut crème brûlées are perfect palate cleansers after spicy meal.

Coconut crème brûlée. Photography by © Ape Inc. 2018
Coconut crème brûlée. Photography by © Ape Inc. 2018

Preparation time

15 minutes, plus chilling

Cooking time

40 minutes




  • 8 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream
  • 400ml/14fl oz can coconut milk
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dark soft brown sugar


This simple dessert is perfect for cleansing the palate after a meal of spicy foods, especially after those made with hot Thai red chillies.

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas 2.

2. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg yolks with 4 tablespoons of the caster sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale, thick and creamy. This takes about 2 minutes.

3. Put the cream, coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves in a heavy-based saucepan and warm over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until it almost comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave until tepid to let the flavour of the kaffir lime leaves infuse the cream.

4. Strain the cream mixture into a jug, discarding the kaffir lime leaves, and gradually pour it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously with a balloon whisk. Pour into the top of a double boiler, or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat gently, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the custard has thickened and lightly coats the back of a spoon.

5. Remove from the heat and pour the custard into four ramekins or a shallow heatproof dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until softly set and the custards still have a slight wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature, then chill for 1 hour, or overnight if you prefer.

6. When ready to serve, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons caster sugar with the brown sugar and sift it over the brûlées. Spray with a little water to just dampen the top. Using a blow torch, caramelise the sugar topping, moving the flame just above the sugar. Alternatively, place the brûlées under a hot grill until the sugar melts and caramelizes, about 2 minutes. Leave the caramel topping to harden before serving.

Busaba Thai cookbook

Extracted from Bangkok Thai: The Busaba Cookbook (Sphere, £25) Photography by © Ape Inc. 2018. 

Visit our Asian recipes section for more delicious Thai recipes

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.