Ashwagandha-Reishi Crème Brûlée with Adaptogens for Adrenal Support

Feb 8 / Alberto Carbo
Valentine’s day is a celebration of the love we have for those we hold dear; our significant other, our family, our relatives, and our friends. Since antiquity, and in the modern-day, love has been associated with the heart, and although many ancient cultures understood why, it is only recently that modern research has uncovered the perceptive and communicative capabilities of the human heart. 

The electromagnetic signals that trigger the contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle, also create a rhythmic electromagnetic field, which influences every bodily cell and also extends three feet away from the body in all directions, enabling what modern researchers have dubbed biomagnetic communication. 

The energetically perceptive and empathic abilities of the heart's electromagnetic field are paramount to the connection and bond that we form with others. If Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, then it is by default also a celebration of the physical heart.   

Although there are many herbs that are specific to or have affinities for the heart, from a holistic perspective, adaptogens fit perfectly into the theme of heart health and Valentine’s Day. Through their support of the adrenal glands and the greater endocrine cascade, they encourage the body to transition back into a parasympathetic stage, while promoting recovery and restoration, as well as supporting vital organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Below you will find one of my all-time favorite classic dessert recipes, with two well-known adaptogens for adrenal support incorporated into it in the spirit of promoting the health of our love sensory organ.  Despite the relatively small amounts of medicinal herbs in this recipe, enjoying this Ashwagandha-Reishi Créme Brûlée on a romantic evening could have medicinal benefits. As we learn from Matthew Wood and his practice of ‘nudge-opathy’, even a small amount of herbal remedy can aid the body. Enjoy!

Ashwagandha-Reishi Crème Brûlée

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 200 grams of coconut palm sugar (or regular sugar)
  • 800 ml heavy cream
  • 100 ml 3.25% milk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 3 TBSP Ashwagandha root powder
  • 1 TBSP Reishi mushroom powder


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163C°)
  2. Place 300ml of the cream, as well as all of the milk and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, with 3 tablespoons of powdered ashwagandha root and 1 tablespoon of reishi mushroom powder. Bring to a simmer, cover, and turn to low. Leave on low for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Make sure you break up any clumps of powdered herb.
  3. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and 170 grams of sugar together.
  4. After 20 minutes, add the remaining 500ml of cream to the pot, mix thoroughly and raise the heat. As soon as the cream comes to a simmer, remove from heat and add the scraped vanilla bean.
  5. Pass through a fine mesh strainer to ensure there are no clumps. (this step is not always necessary, and I have often skipped it, but here and there it may come in handy)
  6. Remove about ½ a cup of the warm cream, and temper the egg yolks by pouring into the egg yolk/sugar mixture in a slow and steady stream, while whisking the egg yolks and sugar to incorporate the cream. It is important to pour slowly and steadily while keeping the egg yolks moving in order to avoid scrambling the eggs.
  7. Once tempered, add the mixture of egg yolk/sugar and ½ cup of heavy cream to the rest of the warm cream in a slow and steady stream while gently incorporating with the whisk.
  8. Place shallow ramekins in a large baking pan, and pour the mixture into them, all the way to the top of the ramekins.
  9. Pour hot water in the baking pan, being careful not to get any water in the ramekins, to about ¾ from the top edge of the ramekins.
  10. Place in the oven.
  11. Once the edges of the crême are set, and the center is a little jiggly, they are ready. Cooking time depends on the depth of your ramekins and of course on your oven. A 1-inch-deep ramekin should take approximately 35 minutes, but you should begin checking at 30 minutes.
  12. If you have a food-grade thermometer, you can also pull them out once the center reaches 170°F.
  13. Remove from oven, and remove from the baking pan, place on a cooling rack for at least one hour.
  14. Place in the fridge and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
  15. Use the remaining 30 grams of sugar to sprinkle a thin layer, uniformly covering the surface of the chilled crême.
  16. Caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch, or alternatively, place the ramekins in the oven and turn on the broiler. Keep a close eye as it can happen quickly.
  17. Enjoy! 
As always make sure to forage for plants away from roads and pollution as much as possible. Never overharvest any plant, as they are of course not only here for our enjoyment, but also here for the insects, bees, and birds. Have fun out there!
The information provided in this digital content is not medical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for medical advice. Matthew Wood, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, ETS Productions, and their employees, guests, and affiliates assume no liability for the application of the information discussed.