Over the past weeks in our new house, Mr Man and I have really watched our house become a home.
With the addition of a row of benches on our balcony, a new barbecue, the perfect copper lamp and a few strategically placed pot plants (one of which is a lemon tree on the balcony. Not joking, a friend actually bought us a huge pot with a lemon tree), our house seems complete.
Until next weekend that is, when I decide we need another plant/cushion/throw rug/candle holder and Mr Man will probably want to kill me as I drag him to yet another home wares/hardware/department store and spend an hour deliberating over said pot plant/cushion colour/throw fabric/candle holder size.
The whole thing makes me feel like I’m playing house, and pretending to be super adult. Because really I’m still about 20, and don’t own a lemon tree, or a fridge. I don’t buy my own dishwasher tablets and potting mix. I don’t sort out internet connections and extortionate hot water bills either, because those are adult things that adults do. And I can’t remember the point where I suddenly became an adult.
We even potted plants on the weekend.
Like, I took a fern (well, I thought it was a fern. But apparently it’s a palm. I actually own a palm) out of it’s rubbish little plastic pot, ruffled it’s roots and placed it all up in a bed of potting mix in a huge pot. Because apparently plants can’t just be left in the pots they come in. Like, you can’t just place the plastic pot inside a pretty pot. You have to actually re pot them. Who knew? These are the things you learn when you become a pretend adult.
And entertaining. Entertaining really makes me feel like I’m playing house. Like, buying groceries and cooking for other people and stuff. We’ve had lots of friends around for dinner and barbecues and evenings of cheese, and last week when we had my gorgeous girlfriend and her partner over for an afternoon of food, this is what I made for dessert.
I put blueberries in my creme brûlée. And then scattered more on top of the crackly caramel crust. They burst and add a lovely freshness. I made my favourite brown sugar shortbread (minus the christmas spices) and crumbled that over the brûlées too, which added buttery crunch. When our friends were here, I might have even added a scoop of hazelnut ice cream onto each creme brûlée. And we may have even licked our bowls clean, while pretending to be all grown up. X
- 500ml double cream (18 fl oz, 2 cups)
- 1 large vanilla pod
- 100g caster (superfine) sugar (4 oz), plus extra, for sprinkling
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 2 punnets blueberries (250g)
- Brown sugar shortbread, to serve (recipe link below)
- Preheat the oven to 115 C (250 F).
- Pour the cream into a small saucepan. Add the sugar. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream. Throw in the pod, too.
- Bring the cream to a boil, turn off the heat and put the lid on. Allow this to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Crack the eggs into a large heatproof bowl and beat well.
- Bring the cream back to the boil. Turn off the heat and pour the cream over the eggs in a slow and steady stream, while continuously whisking the eggs vigorously.
- Strain the mixture into a jug.
- Place 6 ramekins in a roasting tray. Divide one punnet of blueberries between the ramekins. Fill each one about three quarters full of custard mixture.
- Pour hot water into the roasting tray around the ramekins until it comes halfway up their sides.
- Place the brûlées in the oven and bake for 40 - 60 minutes, until they are just set but still slightly wobbly in the center.
- Take the ramekins out of the water bath and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Just before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of caster (superfine) sugar, about one teaspoon, evenly over the top of each custard. Caramelise with a blowtorch or under a grill – but be sure to watch them like a hawk so they don’t burn.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes, then top with the other punnet of blueberries and some crumbled shortbread. Serves 6.
Brown sugar shortbread recipe can be found here (make without spices).
Creme brûlée recipe adapted from Cook in France.