Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe – A traditional Crème Brûlée with a silky, creamy, and rich custard covered with a thin layer of crispy toffee. This is French elegance in a dessert — sophisticated but not stuffy, and oh-so-easy! It just requires four simple ingredients: cream, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract. It’s a great make-ahead dessert for an upscale dinner party, but it’s also quick enough to make for supper today. No, a blow torch is not required to make the toffee topping! Many inexperienced bakers are astounded by how simple crème brûlée is! There are just 6 ingredients needed, and if you follow my success recommendations, you will be rewarded with the smoothest, creamiest dessert ever. Only by breaking through a crisp caramelized sugar canopy can you get to the wonderfully creamy custard. To put it simply, crème brûlée tastes like luxury.
Classic Vanilla Crème Brûlée:
Crème Brûlée is one of those dishes that appears to be tough since few people make it at home and it’s often served as a special treat at restaurants. But I’m here to tell you that if you can follow a few basic steps, creating Crème Brûlée is one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make! One of the nicest things about Crème Brûlée is that it may be made a few hours or even a few days ahead of time, with the topping added shortly before serving. This makes it the ideal dessert to serve to visitors – they’ll be impressed by the look, but the fact is that you didn’t have to spend much time making it.
- Heavy Cream
- Egg Yolks
- Granulated Sugar
How To Make Classic Crème Brûlée Recipe?
- Pour the cream into a small saucepan and cook it over medium heat until it is warm but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl.
- When the cream is heated, add the vanilla extract and aggressively whisk the hot cream into the egg yolks.
- Pour the custard into ramekins (you may use a range of sizes, but keep in mind that a shallower ramekin will take less baking time than a deeper ramekin).
- Bake until the top is firm but the filling is still somewhat jiggly, about 30 minutes.
- Allow it to cool before chilling entirely.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with sugar and caramelize it for a delicious crunch!
Tips And Tricks:
- The essential components in crème brûlée are heavy cream and egg yolks. It took some trial and error to get the ideal ratio, but I preferred 5 egg yolks to 3 cups heavy cream. This results in a VERY creamy, luscious crème brûlée.
- Temper egg yolks: If you’ve never done it before, tempering egg yolks is easy– all you’re doing is gradually raising the temperature of the egg yolks so they don’t scramble.
- Should I wring it out? In my perspective, straining the custard before boiling it is optional. If the custard seems to be thick and lumpy, sift it through a sieve before baking.
- Individual ramekins for crème brûlée: Serve crème brûlée in individual ramekins. The tiny ramekins ensure that the custard cooks evenly, although a large broad ceramic dish might be used instead.
- Fill a large baking dish (I used a 913-inch baking pan) halfway with boiling water, then place the ramekins in it. The water bath provides a wet and humid environment for the crème brûlée, which is necessary for their texture.
- Use an instant read thermometer to get the best baking time. They are finished when the thermometer reads 170°F (77°C).
How Firm Should Crème Brûlée Be?
Crème Brûlée is a soft custard with the viscosity of thick Greek yogurt. You shouldn’t be able to cut through it like a piece of cake! When you scoop some from the ramekin, the walls of the remaining custard in the ramekin should barely stay upright, but not flow everywhere. It should melt in your tongue like a silky, creamy cream. It shouldn’t even have the consistency of soft jelly!
How To Make Crème Brûlée’s Crisp Toffee Topping?
The crisp toffee topping is quickly charred by a blow torch. Simply sprinkle with sugar and torch for 6 to 10 seconds, or until the sugar melts and turns golden. As it cools, it will immediately solidify. If you don’t have a blow torch, simply place the ramekins on a screaming hot grill / broiler for 45 seconds to 1 minute to melt the sugar. It works perfectly, however here are my two small suggestions:
- The brûlée should be refrigerated overnight to ensure that it is extremely cold, which will assist prevent the custard from melting.
- After the sugar has been melted, place the Crème Brûlée in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, and up to 1 hour. Because the grill takes longer than a blow torch, the surface of the custard beneath the caramel will melt somewhat.
Topping: Burned Sugar:
Crème is short for cream. Brûlée is French for “burned.” Cream that has been burned. So, no matter how many times I say “caramelized sugar,” it’s actually burnt sugar. It’s the CRUNCH on the CREAM, and it’s delicious! After the custards have baked, cooled, and chilled, it’s time to add the finishing touch. All we’re doing here is sprinkling granulated sugar on the surface. Some recipes ask for superfine sugar for the topping, while others call for coarse sugar. I experimented with both, but ultimately settled on ordinary granulated sugar–the same sugar we’ll use in the custard itself. It provided a rich and solid caramelized sugar coating, precisely what we were looking for!
Can I Prepare Crème Brûlée Ahead Of Time?
Bake your custards, then chill fully before wrapping and storing for a few hours or up to 3 days until completing and serving. The ideal make-ahead dessert!
What Should I Serve With Crème Brûlée?
What should you serve with Crème Brûlée? There are so many possibilities! It is a really elegant way to conclude any dinner, but the obvious choice is to round up a French cuisine with this magnificent dessert. Here are some French meal suggestions:
- Steak or salmon with Béarnaise sauce – an appropriately upscale main course!
- French Onion Soup – An wonderful appetizer that may also be served as a main course.
- Lemon Beurre Noisette – Fish in a brown butter and lemon sauce (outrageously delicious);
- Nicoise Salad — A lighter main dish on a hot summer day, this Provencal tuna salad would be ideal.
- Suggestions for side salads – Try a classic French Bistro Salad, a French Carrot Salad, or a Tomato Salad with Olive Tapenade inspired by Southern France. Alternatively, you may prepare your own with a French vinaigrette.
MORE DELICIOIUS RECIPES HERE:
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp vanilla pod
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- Toffee Topping:
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar (superfine sugar)
Vanilla bean: Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape off the seeds with a tiny knife. Combine with the cream and the empty vanilla pod in a saucepan.
Simmer uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes to infuse cream. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour with the lid on (you can skip this step if using paste, just let it cool to lukewarm). Take out the vanilla pod. Remove any skin that has developed on the surface by skimming it off.
Preheat the oven to 130°C/265°F (120°C fan). 4 x 23 cup / 150 ml empty ramekins on a baking pan with high enough sides so water can be poured halfway up the ramekins
Bring water to a boil: Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Whisk egg yolks and sugar together: Whisk yolks and sugar together until just blended. Don't whisk too vigorously, as this might cause bubbles.
Pour the cream into the eggs and gently whisk to incorporate. Using a soup ladle, divide the mixture among the ramekins.
Pour in enough boiling water to fill halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (If you use too much water, the ramekins will float around, which is not nice!)
Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the custard has set but still has a small wobble when you GENTLY shake the ramekin.
Remove the ramekins from the water to chill. Allow to cool before refrigerating for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight (up to 3 days is OK).
Using a blow torch, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon sugar over the surface of each crème brûlée. Melt and caramelize the sugar with a blow torch. Serve right away.
Crème brûlée should be chilled overnight before grilling or broiling.
Preheat the grill to high heat. Grill the crème brûlée for 1 minute, or until the sugar has melted and caramelized. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour (to reset the custard directly beneath the toffee), then serve.
Crème brûlée texture: The texture should be like a very thick yogurt, rather than set so that it may be cut like cake or even a soft set jelly. When you take a scoop of custard, it should barely stay together but not dissolve or run. When you take a bite, the custard should melt in your mouth.
Make Ahead Directions: Make the custard mixture completely. Refrigerate for up to 1 day before baking, covered firmly. The custard can be baked up to 2 days ahead of time.
Vanilla - A vanilla pod is the most genuine way to utilize vanilla, but you may also use vanilla bean paste. You want those small black vanilla seeds to be visible for the whole experience!!
Egg whites — Make this frothy, soufflé-style Egg White Omelette using leftover egg whites!