Perfect Creme Brulee [Video]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet

Creme Brulee is a perfect dessert of rich custard and topped with caramelized sugar. It is festive and delicious to make for a special occasion, such as Valentine’s Day.  

This is easily one of our favorite desserts to make, especially when it comes down to Valentine’s Day. If you plan to serve something special for this occasion, or any other for that matter, this is the dessert to make. You can also try our Pink Chocolate Fudge and the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffles.

Creme Brulee

Easy Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is a well-known and loved dessert, yet many think it’s too difficult to make. It is actually not true, and with the right recipe and ingredients, this is a surprisingly easy dessert to make.

It is something between a flan and a pudding, just richer, more flavorful, and topped with a hard caramelized shell. This is definitely the treat that you should try to make. There are different variations of this dessert, but they are all delicious and a must-try for dessert lovers.

Creme Brulee is also the perfect dessert to make in advance. It refrigerates well, and it even tastes better when refrigerated. We recommend serving in individual ramekins, as it looks more festive and presentable. Before serving, spread the sugar over the top, and with a blow torch caramelize it into a crispy shell.

What is creme brulee?

Creme Brulee is a classic French dessert consisting of a rich custard base, and topped with contrasting layer of caramelized sugar. It is usually served cold, with a warm top. Because the sugar on top is caramelized with a torch or in a broiler, it makes the top warm, while the main base cold. The custard base is normally vanilla based, but can be made of other flavors as well.

Creme Brulee

Can you make creme brulee in advance?

Absolutely! Actually, this is one of the perfect recipes to make in advance, as it has to cool in the fridge after cooking. You can make this delicious desert up to four days ahead of time. Just remember, before serving, to caramelize the top with a blow torch or under a broiler.

Can you make creme brulee without blow torch?

Yes! Using a lighter or grill lighter is also possible to make the crispy top. However, if you don’t like using these methods, or don’t have a blowtorch, the best option is to use the broiler.

This is a very easy and practical method. Before using this method, make sure the custard is cold and fully set, ideally refrigerated overnight. Then, simply, heat your broiler to super-hot, and put the ramekins just underneath. Only 2-3 minutes should be enough to get the perfect caramelization.

What is the best sugar for creme brulee?

Creme brulee is such a refined, delicate and rich dessert, that you want to make sure it is perfectly finalized. As a general rule, the sugar that is too coarse will not caramelize easily, and might not caramelize evenly. Or worse, you will end up with uncooked sugar at the top of your brulee.

Therefore, the best sugar for topping it off is superfine sugar, because it has very tiny crystals that caramelize quickly, which is ideal for this dessert.

Creme Brulee

Is creme brulee served hot or cold?

Usually, it is recommended the bottom of the creme brulee to be cold, and the caramelized top to be hot. The hot and cold combination together will make a great tasting dessert, with nice contrast. To get it cold at the bottom and hot at the top, you can follow this tip.

Cool the dessert down by refrigerating it overnight. Just before serving, caramelize the top sugar layer with a blowtorch or broil for 2-3 minutes. This way you will have a cold a hot contrast in your perfectly rich dessert.

Can you freeze creme brulee?

Yes, it can be frozen if it is done correctly.

  • First, foil wrap the baked custards individually, or place them in an air-tight container.
  • Then, place in the freezer for up to one month.
  • When ready to serve, remove from freezer, and let them thaw enough so that they are cold, but not frozen.
  • Lastly, sprinkle with some sugar, and then caramelize the top with a blowtorch, or broil for 2-3 minutes before serving.

Tips for perfect Creme Brulee

  • We recommend using small ceramic ramekins that are heavier than glass custard cups. They stand up to the intense heat of a flame or broiler much better.
  • If broiling method is used to caramelize the sugar, it is best to use fine sugar as it melts best under the broiler.
  • Similarly, if a torch is used for melting, use superfine sugar as it tends to melt best.

Other Versions:

Tools used to make creme brulee

Recipe Step-by-Step Video:

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5 from 1 reviews
Perfect Creme Brulee
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 50 minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 8  egg yolks 
  • 1 cup  sugar  (divided)
  • 2 cups  heavy cream 
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla extract 

Instructions

  1. Add the eggs to a large bowl, add 1/3 cup of sugar and whisk until well mixed. Stop to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  2. Add heavy cream to a medium sauce pan, stir and heat it until hot, and it simmers lightly, do not boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour in the hot cream gradually, do this slowly and mixing continually. Add the cream little by little, especially at the beginning, otherwise it may cook some parts of the egg mixture. Stir continuously until fully combined. Stir in vanilla extract.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop and discard the foam accumulated on top of the custard mixture.
  5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  6. Place 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins into a large roasting pan. Pour the custard mixture into the ramekins.
  7. Pour hot water into the pan to come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees F or 165 degrees C for 45 - 50 minutes. The crème brûlée is done when it looks set, but still just slightly jiggly in the middle.
  9. Once cooked, remove the roasting pan from the oven and let the creme brûlée cool in the pan before transferring to the fridge.
  10. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
  11. When ready to serve, remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator, 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of each crème brûlée. Using a torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy top.
  12. If you don’t have a torch, you can broil the crème brûlée to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don’t burn it.
  13. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Calories: 259 Carbohydrates: 38 Protein: 6 Fat: 9 Saturated Fat: 3 Cholesterol: 268 Sodium: 46 Potassium: 133 Sugar: 37 Vitamin A: 480 Calcium: 123 Iron: 0.6
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Creme Brulee

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Comments

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Candy

I have never made this dish. Mostly because I don’t have one of those touches. Like to order it out 

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Jeanette

This is my all-time favorite dessert. Whenever I go to a restaurant and they have this I ask for it every single time. I cannot wait to try to make this.

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Ashley

I love love LOVE creme brulee!! Yours look absolutely delicious. And easy enough to make! Thanks for sharing.

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Amber Myers

I am drooling. This is one of my favorite desserts. I admit, I've never tried to make it at home. I really should, so I can have it more often.

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Marcie W.

I never imagined attempting to make creme brulee at home, but you've made it look much easier than expected. I even have a torch! I cannot wait to give this a try.

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Dennis Littley

Creme Brulee is a classic dessert and so delicious! Love the tip about using the broiler to caramelize the top if a blow torch isn't handy. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

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Melanie

Not only have I never made this dish at home, I have not had it at a restaurant, either! I need to remedy that!

Reply

Tasheena

I can't wait to try and make this at home. This is one of my favorite desserts. 

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Terri Steffes

This is my all time favorite dessert. I have such high expectations for this dessert. First the sugar must break like glass. Second the custard must be cold while the sugar is still hot. Third, the custard must be creamy, not thick. Yours looks like it would make the mark!

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Heather

I've always wanted to try to make this but it seems so overwhelming to me.  One day I'm going to try!

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Beth

Creme Brulee is always such a treat! I never considered trying to make it home, but maybe one I will.

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Pam

I love creme brulee. I always order it when it is an option at a restaurant. But I have never made my own.

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Denay DeGuzman

I love creme brulee! Your recipe is so festive and fabulous. I can hardly wait to make some for my husband and I.

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Nancy at Whispered Inspirations

Oh my word, your creme brulee looks perfect! I am going to try to make these at home.

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Ricci

I love creme brulee but I have never made it myself. I may need to try this recipe soon!!

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Alyssa

omg-yummmm! This looks so good! I love creme brulee but have never thought about making it myself. Totally want to try now!

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Fatima Torres

I've always wondered about creating creme brulee. It's never been my strong point. More so the whole torching thing.

Reply

Claudia Krusch

I loooove Creme Brûlée! I've always wanted to learn how to make it! Thank you for your recipe!

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