Ostro's vanilla and basil creme brulee. Photo / Supplied

Baptised By Fire: Auckland's Best Flame-Made Desserts

Burned, smoked and torched, these desserts have felt the heat and been rewarded in flavour

Ostro’s vanilla and basil creme brulee
This creme brulee, punctuated with vanilla bean and infused with fresh basil, has become something of a stalwart at Ostro, and for good reason. Its decadent custard with torched, caramelised sugar is a wonder of both texture and flavour. seafarers.co.nz/ostro

Alma’s chocolate, berry and burnt cream dessert
Newly opened Spanish restaurant Alma brings something smoky-sweet to its menu: a dessert that includes blueberries pickled in vermouth vinegar; fermented, slightly salted blueberries; Valrhona chocolate cream; crystallised chocolate; and a beautiful burnt cream that’s been steeped with embers from the hearth for three hours. Alma.nz

Culprit's burnt apricot flan. Photo / Supplied

Culprit’s Scoot’s burnt apricot leche flan
A dark, burnt caramel is made for this stonefruit offering at Culprit. The sticky sauce is finished with fresh Cromwell apricots and used to make the leche flan, a creme caramel-like custard with a sweet glaze. Culpritdiningroom.co.nz

Madame George's plum creme brulee. Photo / Supplied

Miann’s baked Alaska
Chocolate authority Miann has crafted something of an ultimate omelette norvégienne. It’s filled with white chocolate and passionfruit gelato and topped with a meringue and baked until its peaks are brown and crisp. (While you're there, check out the white chocolate and burnt Heilala vanilla. Made with 33 per cent cocoa butter, organic cane sugar and milk powder, and finished with a special ingredient — Heilala vanilla beans that have been roasted until crispy, then ground into a fine powder — Miann’s white chocolate block is intentionally less sweet, but no less moreish.) Miannchocolatefactory.com

Federal Delicatessen’s lemon meringue pie
Made from a classic recipe, Federal Delicatessen’s lemon meringue pie is a wellspring of the best kind of tartness. It comes perfectly torched, too. Enjoy with their bottomless coffee. Thefed.co.nz

Golden Nest's mango pudding. Photo / Supplied

Madame George’s plum creme brulee
The K Rd restaurant's new kid on the block comes in the form of a plum creme brulee, caramelised with coconut sugar and finished with a plum sorbet infused with vermouth bianco, rosso and campari, and served over diced, frozen plum pieces. Madamegeorge.co.nz

Ostro's vanilla and basil creme brulee. Photo / Supplied

The Garden Shed's DIY s'mores
Mt Eden bistro The Garden Shed’s build-your-own s'mores are a flame-side undertaking reminiscent of cool summer campfires. Assemble your marshmallows, ganache and Dom’s graham crackers into a practical sandwich and toast over an open flame. Thegardenshed.kiwi

Inca’s ember-roasted pineapple
This dish from Inca is a tropical force: fresh pineapple roasted on embers and basted in spiced rum, and served with fresh passionfruit and a coconut custard. In short, a pina colada in a bowl. Incarestaurant.co.nz

Inca's ember-roasted pineapple. Photo / Supplied

Golden Nest at Woodpecker Hill’s mango pudding
Based on a Thai dessert, Golden Nest’s fittingly ochre mango pudding carries a few special additions: The smooth pudding is topped with a tart burnt honey syrup, crunchy meringue pieces and a scoop of hokey pokey gelato. Woodpeckerhill.co.nz

SPQR's creme brulee. Photo / Supplied

SPQR’s raspberry and vanilla creme brulee
Ponsonby institution SPQR’s raspberry and vanilla creme brulee was born of an old recipe that forgoes baking in the commonly used bain-marie. The result is a delicate custard that has called forth a loyal following. Spqrnz.co.nz

Federal Delicatessen's lemon meringue pie. Photo / Supplied

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