Vanilla Bean Custard


There’s a staple dish my mother makes, a Chinese savoury egg custard, which is the bane of my culinary existence. Because try as I have, despite countless phone calls being coached through the process, I have never been able to achieve the silky, smooth egg custard that is my mother’s signature. 

When I set out to make this Vanilla Bean Custard recipe using my Vermicular Musui–Kamado, a dish seemingly so different to my mother’s savoury custard, I did not expect a delicious epiphany. The result was so silky, delicate and light, it was the first time I had ever made an egg custard that was akin to my mother’s beloved dish.

As it turns out, the secret with producing the smoothest custard possible is in precision cooking. The Musui–Kamado makes cooking with exact temperatures really simple. The WARM function allows you to set the temperature between 90-200°F to the degree you need and holds it at that temperature for the duration of the cook time. This has always been my failing when cooking egg custard in the past – either the heat is inconsistent or I struggle to find a low and stable enough setting on my conventional gas cooktop. Patience has never been my strong point in the kitchen but the Musui–Kamado has completely changed the way I look at cooking ‘low and slow’. I now know what my mother was talking about when she continually reminded me to ‘keep the fire low’. 

Vanilla Bean Custard

This recipe is from the Vermicular cookbook. 

Treat your company with this spoonable delight, our vanilla bean custard is gently steamed by the Kamado’s precision heating, creating a silky, smooth texture that will delight the crowd.


[MED] 3 min

[WARM 200°F] 30 min

REST 15 min

COOK 48 min

2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup (60 g) sugar
1 2/3 cups (400 ml) milk
1" piece of vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped

Caramel Sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons (30 g) sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons hot water
Small heat resistant containers/bowls


Add milk in a saucepan and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add emptied pod. Warm and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar. Gradually whisk in the warmed milk and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve into another bowl.

Pour the mixture from Step 2 into four small (about ½ cup capacity) heat resistant containers. Remove any bubbles on the surface using paper towels, then cover each container with plastic wrap.

Pour 100 ml water in the pot, cover and boil over [ MED ] heat for about 3 minutes. Once the water comes to a boil, lay parchment paper in the pot and place containers from Step 3 on top. Cover and steam over [ WARM 200°F ] for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and let it steam over residual heat for another 15 minutes. Remove containers from the pot, let cool, and refrigerate.

For Caramel Sauce, heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat while tilting and moving the pan in a circular motion. When the mixture becomes a caramel color, turn off heat and add hot water (be careful as the sauce mixture can pop), stir until smooth and drizzle over custard and serve.


•• For Step 2, resting the mixture overnight allows any air bubbles to escape, creating a silkier, smoother custard.

•• Covering each container with plastic wrap prevents any water from dripping onto the custard while steaming.

These instructions are for using with the Vermicular Musui–Kamado. If you don’t have one, you could steam the custard in a conventional pot, on a very low heat, for 30 minutes. 

This blog post was sponsored by Vermicular. All opinions expressed are my own and I only work with brands and products that I genuinely use and enjoy.

DESSERTHetty McKinnon