I have devised and worked on this brandy vanilla crème anglaise recipe for many years and am excited to finally share it with the baking industry through Australian Baking Business.
This has been a signature sauce I have used for 10 years and make every Christmas for Chocolate Artisan. It’s a winning sauce for fruit cake that people have told me they sometimes drink on its own.
The recipe involves a long overnight extraction, but you can choose to try it on the same day if you are short of time. If you can follow the nuances in this recipe, it will give you a truer result. What I think makes it not too heavy is the use of whole eggs. To thin it down even more, add more milk and lightly warm it for an eggnog.
The macchiato component is inspired by how widely the drink is used in the US, as well as here in Australia, through the Starbucks coffee chain. They are full of calories and pretty decadent. It’s a simple suggestion that anyone can play with in their own way.
This sauce can last in the fridge up to a week. But once you’ve tasted it, it never seems to stay in there that long.
For my own fruit cake, I use fruits that are soaked for more than a year in oranges and honey picked from my friend’s farm. Making this for friends and family, I find it is a great way to connect with others.
2L cream (35 per cent milk fat)
1L milk (4 per cent milk fat)
2 vanilla beans, split and lightly scraped
300g caster sugar
12 whole free-range eggs
100g (50 per cent) brandy
1 Heat the milk, cream and vanilla beans in a heavy base pot over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once this liquid comes to the boil, turn off the heat and cover with a lid to infuse until liquid comes to room temperature, and refrigerate overnight.
2 The next day return the pot to the stove and reheat on a low-to-medium setting. In the meantime, beat the sugar with the eggs in a bowl big enough to accommodate all ingredients with a whisk ’til light and creamy consistency (ribbon stage). Then once the liquid has come to the boil, gently pour over a quarter of the liquid, whisking until evenly distributed and, once cleared, keep adding the liquid quarter by quarter.
3 Prepare a big bowl of ice with a little water and place a bowl big enough to accommodate all the ingredients nestled in the middle (you want the ice come around the sides of the bowl).
4 Return the liquid to the pot and cook over low heat ‘til the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Do this by taking the liquid up to 82°C and constantly stirring with heat-resistant rubber spatula, making sure you scrape the sides and base evenly and consistently. As soon as this happens you need to strain the mixture with a fine mesh the mixture over the prepared ice bath to stop the cooking process ASAP. You don’t want the sweet scrambled egg taste though as it will wreck the whole batch.
5 Continue to stir the bowl (pay attention to scrape the sides), add the brandy and once the mixture cools enough, pour into presentation bottles. Chill and close with cap and serve the next day for an extra creamy effect!