Chef Hervé's lime brulee sits on a grey plate

Chef Hervé's Lime Crème Brûlée

The classic créme brulée gets a zingy, bright makeover just in time for summer.

Dazzle your next dinner guest or treat yourself with ICE New York's Director of Culinary Affairs Hervé Malivert’s zesty twist on the classic crème brûlée.

Though the exact origins of créme brûlée are debated, it’s probably safe to say that the French, Spanish and English chefs of centuries past weren’t using lime juice and ginger powder in their versions of the ever-popular dessert.

They also certainly weren’t going about plating such a traditional dessert in a deconstructed manner  — like they may if they worked in 21st century fine dining establishments.

Chef Hervé's lime brulee sits on a grey plate

Chef Hervé runs us through one of his favorite variations of the timeless dessert. The fresh flavors of lime and ginger transport this international delicacy to a summer dinner table near you. 

Follow the recipe below to give it a try for yourself.


Lime Crème Brûlée


For the gingerbread

  • 150 g water (15 cl)
  • 60 g sugar
  • 150 g honey
  • 3 g four spices (AKA "quatre épices" blend: white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
  • 3 g ginger powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 2 limes
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 pinch of fine salt
  • 150 g bread flour
  • 5 g baking soda
  • 95 g butter
  • 1 pinch baking soda

For the lime and vanilla cream

  • 135 g lime juice
  • 135 g eggs
  • 135 g sugar
  • 4 g agar-agar
  • 175 g cold butter
  • brown sugar for topping


For the gingerbread

  1. In a saucepan, boil water, sugar, salt and honey.
  2. Add ginger powder, quatre épices, lemon, orange and lime zest. 
  3. Add butter to the saucepan and let it melt. Then cover the pan and let it infuse in the heat. 
  4. Sift the flour and baking soda into a bowl.
  5. Pass the infusion in the saucepan through a colander, then gradually pour it over the flour and baking powder, stirring with a whisk to obtain a homogeneous mixture. 
  6. Place mixture into lightly oiled Flexipan molds. 
  7. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F (or about 180°C) before letting it cool on a rack.

For the lime and vanilla cream

  1. In a saucepan, bring the lime juice, eggs, sugar and agar-agar to a boil while whisking for 1 minute. 
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender and at medium speed incorporate the 175 grams of butter little by little to obtain a homogeneous mixture. 
  3. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool in the fridge. 

For plating

  1. With a spoon, form 3 quenelles on a plate. Sprinkle with brown sugar and burn with a torch. 
  2. Arrange the fruit, place a few drops of the orange gel and finish with a slice of ginger bread.

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