Heat the oven to 120C, Gas Mark 4. Grease 4 ovenproof ramekins or straight sided tea cups.
Put the single and double cream in a pan with the vanilla pod, caster sugar and bay leaf.
Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely, and then bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove the vanilla pod and bay leaf.
Beat the eggs and egg yolks together until blended.
Whisk in a little of the hot cream until combined, then whisk in the remaining cream.
Strain the mixture through a sieve and divide between the ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tray with hot water until it comes halfway up the up the sides of the ramekins. Place the tin in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the mixture is just firm to the touch.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Place into the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœfridge to chill.
Sprinkle each creme brÃƒÂ»lee with the brown sugar to cover and caramelise the top with a mini blowtorch.
Alternatively, place the ramekins under a hot grill until browned and caramelised.
By pre-boiling the cream and using hot water, the cooking time will be greatly reduced.
Do not raise the oven temperature as this will cause bubble formation in the custard.
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