Vanilla crème brûlée

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins Plus cooling


Serves 4
Who better to teach us how to create this classic French dessert than the MasterChef himself, Michel Roux Jr?

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 250ml double cream
  • 75ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped
  • 4 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar, plus 3-4 tbsp for the topping
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the puff pastry sticks

  • ½ sheet of puff pastry
  • ½ egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • finely chopped almonds


    arr-mund or al-mund

    Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…

  • icing sugar


  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Put the cream, milk and vanilla pod into a pan and heat to boiling point. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 mins. Whisk the egg yolks and 3 tbsp of sugar together until pale and thick. Add the vanilla extract and pour the boiling cream onto the mixture. Stir well, then pour into two ramekins. Place the ramekins in a bain marie and cook in the oven for about 20 mins or until just set. Leave to cool.

  2. Heat the grill. Sprinkle the cold brûlée with a thin, even layer of sugar, and caramelise under the very hot grill (or use a blowtorch). Repeat several times until you have a golden crackling topping. Leave to cool and serve within 2 hrs with warm Almond puff pastry sticks (see below).

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (25)

iiYummyCupcake's picture

I watched a very inspiring video on YouTube-and I think you should try it.
What you do is seperate the cream into three bowls and colour them Light Blue,Purple and Pink. And then, with the sugar, colour it Purple again, and blue. The results come out as a STUNNING Galaxy pudding. :)

foodhound01's picture

First really dud recipe I've found on BBC Food - a pity, should be retested and amended. Followed instructions to the letter, also cooking time, and the custard was not cooked. Left it in 15 minutes more and still not right. Wish I'd read the comments before choosing it. Needs hotter oven and longer cooking. There is another error in the recipe itself: it states it is for 4 servings in the heading, but refers to pouring it into 'two ramekins' in the instructions.

MarkF's picture

The custard does not set at the temperature and cooking time indicated with this recipe.

Lau97's picture

This recipe creates a beautiful desert, I recommend this! However the cream, milk and vanilla may not need as long as it says, I will always remove it from the hob once begun to boil.

Rachel1195's picture

Should have read the reviews before i made this!!! I cooked it @ 140 for about 40 minutes but it still wasn't majorly set!!! I think it would work better cooking it hotter and longer. Oh well, i'll have another go...

k8_leonard's picture

Never made Creme Brulee before so I was prepared for disaster however they turned out great. After reading all the comments I turned the oven up and cooked for 40 mins. My husband said better than some he has tasted in restaurants!
All I need to do now is get the hand of my blowtorch as slightly burnt the sugar.
Might even have another go at proper custard now.

jclewis80's picture

Followed this recipe and took notice of all the reviews - mine were still not set after nearly an hour in the oven. This was my first time making them though so will persevere!

intakoko's picture

My first attempt to make brulee and they turned out perfect!! Although I did turn the oven up to 140c (fan) and baked them for approx 35 min or until they resemble jell-o consistency.

brocon's picture

These didn't set for me at all, I did everything according to recipe, very disappointing, still don't know what I did wrong.

haswells's picture

Mine set perfectly in 25 minutes at 160'c. Trick I use is to heat ramekins in the bain-marie for at least 20 minutes before pouring in the brulees. DELICIOUS!!!

michala2160's picture

Hmmm I too have custard like Brulees.....Delia added cornflour to hers......think I will stick to Delia's recipes

nicbow's picture

Was my first attempt at making these - I halved the recipe as only wanted to make 2...they took an hour in the oven! But it set perfectly after that amount of time! Am away from home so had no blow torch and the grill method didn't work that well as the sugar melts unevenly and some burns - but all the same it was deelish!

burnthouseplace's picture

sometimes a little cornflour..say a level teaspoon in the recipe before going into the ramekins..oven temp can have a lot to do with the set not use very frsh eggs.

vickitay's picture

Tried this twice now and just can't get it to set. The taste is gorgeous, but it's like a custard rather than a set brule.

aalia97's picture

I have tried making a brulee before and it was DISASTROUS. But it was a stove top one so will give the oven baked one a try. And hope it comes out well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vincenthopkins's picture

Brillant recipe, followed as per instruction and the result was a lovely light set custard.

hazysummersky's picture

I love anything with custard in it so créme brulée definietly works for me. Will try this with maybe the zest of an orange or lemon to make it a tad more intresting. :o)

kev540's picture

The first time I made this it was as described by comments, a very thick custard. Second time I made it I used 300ml of double cream, (make sure its good quality) 80ml of full fat milk, 3 tlbs of caster sugar , 6 egg yolks, (medium eggs, maybe 5 from large eggs) 1 vanilla pod, personally I would forget about the vanilla essence just make sure you use a large vanilla pod and prepared exactly as described, cooked in fan oven 150 degrees for 35 - 40 mins, they came out little runny but once they had cooled they were set perfectly, if ur going to do the sugar on top make sure to melt it with a blow torch otherwise don't bother it won't work as well under grill, will be as tasty without. Was best creme brulee I've had. You could put fruit in the bottom any kind you like would be nice.

mariko14's picture

This was my very first attempt at making creme brûlée and I'm really pleased with the result! After reading the other comments I left the ramekins in the oven for almost 50 minutes at a temperature of about 135 (fan) and they came out perfectly set and tasted delicious.

chopschristian's picture

The oven temp seems a bit low to me for it to set. When I've made creme brulee before the oven has been at 160c and they have still taken between 45 mins and 1 hour to set. You can test them the way you would a cake with a sharp skewer in the centre. When it comes out clean it is set. The caramel covering will cover the tiny hole in the top so presentation will look the same.


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Tips (1)

Lau97's picture

Make sure you sieve the mixture before placing in ramekins, this makes the consistency smoother. Happy cooking!