12th Door of the Advent Calendar on 12-12-12 - We're celebrating with Lavender & Honey Crème Brûlée

For anyone who loves numbers and dates, today is one of the most significant dates of the century. It is the last time we can witness a repeating date in (most of) our lifetimes. 

Repeating dates are always popular for weddings and the last one of the century sees many winter weddings take place. Thousands of youngsters are celebrating their 12th birthdays today, a concert for superstorm Sandy relief is organised in New York and on their website NASA confirms that the world is not, in fact, ending today. 

Here at Party Ingredients we love a good pudding and tend to be very good at finding excuses for making desserts and baking cakes. We therefore decided to celebrate the special date with a really lovely and light dessert, Lavender and Honey Crème Brûlée. 

Lavender and Honey Crème Brûlée 

This recipe for crème brûlée has the unusual addition of the aromatic flavour of lavender. However, it is highly adaptable and the lavender can be replaced with peaches, raspberries, fresh mint, sweet spices or, of course, the original – vanilla pod.

Ingredients for 6

500ml double cream
6 stalks of lavender flowers
6 egg yolks
40g caster sugar (for mix)
2tbsp honey
40g caster sugar (for topping)

In a heavy-based saucepan, scald the cream and lavender flowers then leave to infuse for one hour. Mix the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Reheat the cream, sieve the lavender and add it to the egg mix along with the honey. Set the bowl over a pan of boiling water and stir occasionally whilst it slowly thickens, allow 15-20 minutes. Test the mixture on the back of a wooden spoon – it should be thick and not run back together when parted. 
Pour the cream into ramekins or a shallow dish and leave to set in the fridge overnight. Before serving, sprinkle the tops of the brûlée with the 2nd quantity of sugar and place under a hot grill to melt, bubble and brown. 

For wine, we recommend a sweet white wine such as St Croix du Mont, Sauternes or a German Eiswein.