The Best Crème Brulée. An all cream version of the classic French dessert for the richest, smoothest, most velvety baked custard you have ever tasted.
Many people consider this the ultimate “fancy” dessert and find it an intimidating prospect to attempt to make but it really is quite a simple process. The caramelized crackled sugar top might take a little practice with a kitchen torch but that really is the hardest part.
I do recommend getting a small butane torch to caramelize the sugar because it gives much better control over the heat and can be much faster if you have several guests to serve. Alternatively you can use your ovens broiler but the heat can be very uneven under some broilers.
One trick I used to use was putting the ramekins around the edge of a pizza pan with the edge of the pan slightly sticking out over the front of the high rack it is resting on. Wearing an oven mitt, and with the oven door open you can then constantly and slowly spin the pizza pan in a circular motion to more evenly caramelize the sugar.
Here is a suggested serving combo idea that I really like. I add a dollop of raspberry compote and a warm palmier to the crème brulée for a great flavour combination and the palmier adds a little extra crunch to this great indulgence.
I have tried several crème brulée recipes, many with different combinations of milk and cream but in my experience you have to go “whole hog” with this dessert and embrace the indulgence of using only cream which I think makes for a richer, silkier texture and taste.
I am using good quality vanilla extract in this recipe but if you have a vanilla bean, feel free to split it lengthwise scrape out the seeds and add them along with the scraped pod to the cream mixture as it scalds.
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Also check out this great recipe:
- 3 cups whipping cream
- ½ cup white sugar
- 6 large or extra large egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 6 rounded tbsp white sugar
Over medium-low heat scald the cream and sugar to almost boiling, but do not boil.
Whisk together the egg yolks in a measuring cup.
Temper the egg yolks by adding a ladle full of scalded milk to them while whisking constantly. Add this tempered mixture back into the scalded milk, whisking constantly.
Cook this mixture over low heat for another 2 to three minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
Pour the cream mixture evenly among 6, eight oz ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a baking dish and fill the dish with boiling water until it reaches about ½ way up the ramekins.
Bake on the middle rack of a preheated 300 degree F oven for about 30 -35 minutes or until the centers of the custards are set.
Cool completely in the fridge before evenly sprinkling 1 rounded tablespoon of white sugar over the surface of each custard.
Evenly and constantly pass a butane torch on medium flame in a circular motion over the sugar until it melts and turns golden brown. Be careful, the sugar can burn quickly at this point. Once it starts to turn brown, stop, the residual heat will finish the process.
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