The Classic Crème Brulee

Crème Brulee

Burnt cream or  Crème Brulee

Translated as ‘burnt cream’, Crème brulee is a light dessert made of eggs, cream and caramelised sugar. It can be made fairly simply and is a very impressive dish to serve at the end of a three course meal to dinner guests.

Its history and origins are a little vague, but the first recipe for the pudding first appeared in a cookbook in 1691. Since its first appearance in recipe books and on menus across the globe, this dessert has evolved into a delicious and very different dish. Of course, the classic recipe is still very popular with many people, but varieties which include vanilla, coconut, cinnamon or liqueurs are also growing in popularity.

Crème de Menthe, bourbon, and crème de cassis are also used in crème brulee recipes for a bit of a boozy “kick” and spice. Coffee and pumpkin varieties are also becoming seasonal favourites with those that fancy an autumn or winter treat.

Make your own crème brulee

Some may describe this dessert as decadent, but if you have every tried it you will know that it also has an elegant light texture which makes it highly addictive! If you want to try making your own, here is a simple recipe for you to try:

  • 2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 7 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tbsp granulated sugar, split
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 300F.

2. Put 6 ramekins in a 2-inch-deep and large baking pan.

3. In a medium saucepan mix the cream, 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar and the vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat then reduce and simmer for 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl whisk the egg yolks until liquid, then very slowly pour in the cream mixture while constantly whisking.

5. Strain mixture into a jug and carefully fill the ramekins nearly to the top with the custard.

6. Fill the baking pan with warm water until it is half way up the sides of the ramekins.

7. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the custard is set. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight.

8. Prior to serving, preheat the oven to 250F. Mix together the remaining 3 tbsp of granulated sugar with the 3 tbsp of brown sugar. Spread the sugar on a baking tray and dry the mixture in the oven for 15 minutes. Place the sugar in a food processor and mix.

9. Sprinkle about 1 tsp of the sugar mixture over each ramekin. Brown the sugar with a kitchen blowtorch, or place the custards under a hot broiler for 2 minutes or until the sugar bubbles. Sprinkle another teaspoon of the sugar mixture over each custard and brown again. Serve immediately.

Try making this for a weekend party or just simply enjoy this elegant yet decadent dessert.

Find more recipes for crème brulee on Recipebridge.

Posted by RecipeBridge Staff Writer August 22nd 2012
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