Crème Brûlée is definitely one of my favourite desserts. It might sound intimidating, but it’s very simple & with my instructions you can enjoy this luxurious creamy desserts at home.
If you haven’t tried yet, this luscious, silky, rich custard covered with crispy caramel top, then you are missing out so much in your life. This is a pure bliss dessert.
I have always been attracted by creamy desserts and with crème brûlée there is no exception. This recipe for crème brûlée might sound at first intimidating, but I promise, that it is really easy to make and you don’t even need the torch to create the caramelized top.
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what ingredients are use in crème brûlée
what special tools you need
- Deep baking dish or pan
- 5 taller ramekins 4 oz.
- Torch (optional)
- Fine mesh sieve
How to make crème brûlée
Crème brûlée is made out of these 5 ingredients. I use a little of whole 2% milk to cut down a bit on the richness of heavy cream. It is proven recipe and my family loves it.
Start with separating the egg yolks from egg whites. The egg whites won’t be used in this recipe, but you can keep them for healthier option of breakfast omelette or you can use is for making meringues or pavlova dessert. Set the egg yolks in medium bowl aside and the egg whites place in airtight container in the refrigerator.
Get ready deep baking dish
Preheat oven, 350 F / 160C and get ready deep baking dish. We need deep baking dish, because we will bake the crème brûlée in the ramekins with water inside the baking dish. So we do not want to spill any water out. In a small saucepan pour the milk and heavy cream and let reheat on low medium heat, until the edges starts lightly boiling. Whisk constantly, so the milk and heavy cream doesn’t burn on the bottom. Once the heavy cream is heated, remove it from the stove and prepare the custard.
Prepare the custard
In a medium bowl, add large egg yolks and sugar. Whisk them until creamy and fluffy. I suggest using electric hand mixer, it will speed up the process. But also hand whisk can be used, but it will take little longer. I have been whisking manually good 10 minutes, with hand whisk, to achieve fluffy and creamy consistency. It’s well worth having the crème brûlée fully.
Vanilla extract or vanilla bean
I am always using good quality liquid vanilla extract, so I rarely use real vanilla bean. But for if you prefer vanilla bean, then of course use vanilla bean. If you will be using vanilla bean, cut it in half (long-wise). Remove the seeds by scraping them with knife and place it together with the bean inside the saucepan.
Gradually whisk the cream, into egg yolk mixture, little by little, so we do not cook the eggs. Once all the cream is in the egg yolk mixture, strain the liquid with fine meche sieve. Make sure all the egg yolk residue will stay in the strain and not in the crème brûlée.
Fill the ramekins with the custard, dividing evenly or up to 3/4 of the way full & place them inside the deep baking dish. Bake them in the oven 350 F/ 160 C until set, but with a slight jiggle in the centre. Baking time is around 30 to 35 minutes. Once baked, carefully remove ramekins from water & cool them on wire rack. Once they are cool, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Torch or broil: both are working fine
Just before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar evenly over surface of the ramekins. And either use a mini torch to burn the sugar or place the ramekins directly under the broil, to heat them until sugar melts and caramelizes.
By using a torch, you will create the real crunchy and hard caramelized top in a matter of seconds. Crème brûlée will stay refreshingly cool and only the sugar top will be lightly warm. Just before serving the crème brûlée, sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar evenly over the surface of the crème brûlée & use mini torch to gently melt the sugar. Hold the flame above 4 inches from the surface and with circular motion move the flame around the surface.
If you use broil option, the sugar will also melt and harden, but the crème brûlée might reheat as well slightly inside the ramekin. But it still tastes delicious! Place sugared ramekins directly in the oven (top rack) & broil for 5-10 minutes or until sugar melts and caramelize.
Serve within 20 minutes, otherwise the sugar will soften and you won’t hear that satisfying crack.
- 5 ramekins 4oz.
- Torch (optional)
- deep baking dish or baking pan
For the custard
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 cup (300 ml) whipped cream 35% (heavy cream)
- 1/2 cup (100 ml) whole 2% milk
For the top crust
- 5 tsps granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Place 5 ramekins in a deep baking dish & Set aside.
- Heat the 35 % cream & milk in a saucepan over medium heat & whisk constantly the liquids, until it starts to gently boil on the sides.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and a 1/4 cup of sugar until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add in vanilla extract and combine.
- Take the hot cream & gradually whisk into the egg yolk mixture. Once all the cream is well incorporated, strain the liquid through fine mesh sieve.
- Fill the ramekins with the custard, dividing evenly or up to 3/4 of the way full & place them inside the deep baking dish.
- Pour boiling water into the deep baking dish, until the water reach halfway up the ramekins. Try to avoid splashing the water inside the ramekins.
- Transfer the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until it’s set.
- Remove carefully ramekins (they will be HOT!) from the baking dish and cool on wire rack or on kitchen towel.
- When the ramekins are well cooled down, cover them with plastic food wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Just before serving the crème brulée, sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar evenly over the surface of the crème brûlée & use mini torch to gently melt the sugar. Hold the flame above 4 inches from the surface and with circular motion move the flame around the surface.
- Don't have a torch? No problem, you can use the oven to melt the sugar on the top of the crème brulée. Place sugared ramekins directly in the oven (top rack) & broil for 5-10 minutes or until sugar melts and caramelize. Keep closely eyes on these, because they can quickly burn.
- Serve within 20 minutes, otherwise the sugar will soften and you won't have the satisfying cracking the crème brulée.
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