CRÈME ANGLAISE is a vanilla custard sauce with many uses. It is usually used as a sauce and served both warm and cold to accompany cakes, French puddings, crêpes, fruit, and soufflés. It is the base from which both French Ice Cream and Bavarian cream desserts (such as Marquise Alice) are made, and it can be easily flavored with chocolate, coffee, or any variety of liqueur.
The classic technique for making a crème anglaise requires beating the egg yolks and sugar to the “ribbon” stage, adding warm milk, and stirring over simmering water until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon. This procedure takes between 10 and 20 minutes.
For my crème anglaise, I skip the beating of the egg yolks and sugar and eliminate the use of the double boiler. Once the milk and sugar come to a boil, it takes no more than 10 seconds to make the sauce. The classic technique leaves the surface of the sauce smooth and shiny, while this one leaves it with many small bubbles. The bubbles are easily removed with a spoon (but if you’re using the crème anglaise in ice cream or a Bavarian cream, don’t worry about the bubbles).