Ultimate crème brûlée

Ultimate crème brûlée

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(56 ratings)

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Cooking time

Ready in around 1 hour 30 minutes

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Serves 4

Our professional tips will help you to create this crunchy-and-custardy delight

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition nutrition per serving (and worth it)

kcalories
620
protein
6g
carbs
17g
fat
59g
saturates
34g
fibre
0g
sugar
13g
salt
0.01g

Ingredients

  • 2 cartons double cream, 1 large (284ml) plus 1 small (142ml)
  • 100ml full-fat milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra for the topping

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C/conventional 180C/gas 4. Sit four 175ml ramekins in a deep roasting tin at least 7.5cm deep (or a large deep cake tin), one that will enable a baking tray to sit well above the ramekins when laid across the top of the tin. Pour the two cartons of cream into a medium pan with the milk. Lay the vanilla pod on a board and slice lengthways through the middle with a sharp knife to split it in two. Use the tip of the knife to scrape out all the tiny seeds into the cream mixture. Drop the vanilla pod in as well, and set aside.
  2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 minute with an electric hand whisk until paler in colour and a bit fluffy. Put the pan with the cream on a medium heat and bring almost to the boil. As soon as you see bubbles appear round the edge, take the pan off the heat.
  3. Pour the hot cream into the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a wire whisk as you do so, and scraping out the seeds from the pan. Set a fine sieve over a large wide jug or bowl and pour the hot ixture through to strain it, encouraging any stray vanilla seeds through at the end. Using a big spoon, scoop off all the pale foam that is sitting on the top of the liquid (this will be several spoonfuls) and discard. Give the mixture a stir.
  4. Pour in enough hot water (from the tap is fine) into the roasting tin to come about 1.5cm up the sides of the ramekins. Pour the hot cream into the ramekins so you fill them up right to the top – it’s easier to spoon in the last little bit. Put them in the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top of the tin so it sits well above the ramekins and completely covers them, but not the whole tin, leaving a small gap at one side to allow air to circulate. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is softly set. To check, gently sway the roasting tin and if the crème brûlées are ready, they will wobble a bit like a jelly in the middle. Don’t let them get too firm.
  5. Lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin with oven gloves and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes only, then put in the fridge to cool completely. This can be done overnight without affecting the texture.
  6. When ready to serve, wipe round the top edge of the dishes, sprinkle 1½ tsp of caster sugar over each ramekin and spread it out with the back of a spoon to completely cover (Anne Willan’s tip for an even layer). Spray with a little water using a fine spray (the sort you buy in a craft shop) to just dampen the sugar – then use a blow torch to caramelise it. Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep moving it round and round until caramelised. Serve when the brûlée is firm, or within an hour or two.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2003

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Comments

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bezza110's picture
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Really good recipe but it's not advisable to loo at calorie content. Went down well will be making it again

emznapier's picture
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Possibly the greatest dessert ever!!!! 620 calories of pure heaven! And super easy to make :) dangerously easy in fact!

mscpp11's picture

If mixing the sugar and egg yolks together by hand should a thin wire whisk or balloon whisk* (*now cheaply available in some retail outlets) be used instead ? Also if refrigerating the brulee mixture before baking, should the vanilla pods be kept in the mixture or discarded ?

yvettelazza's picture
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It was super easy to follow the recipe, and the taste is just superb. I feel like a real "master chief" with my brulee garnished with halved strawberries and some mint leaves. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe :)

stormgirl's picture
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I have made this so many times now and it's always perfect, a great make ahead pud. I do sometimes omit the milk and put 100ml amarula which tastes so wonderful. I use icing sugar on the top sprayed with water and it crisps up beautifully.

stormgirl's picture
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I have Meade this so many times now and it's always perfect, a great make ahead pud. I do sometimes omit the milk and put 100ml amarula which tastes so wonderful. I use icing sugar on the top sprayed with water and it crisps up beautifully.

arendal's picture

I made this for the first time for guests for dinner and they said it was the best creme brûlée they had ever had!!! It is absolutely delicious and the recipe is easy to follow. Will be another favourite recipe from Angela Neilson - her sticky toffee pudding is another classic!

susieone's picture
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A superb recipe for the base custard and so easy. The first time I tried it, I used the grill to do the caramel topping. It was OK, but I think the ramekins were a little too far from the (electric) grill. (I used to do these in the 70s and the caramel was perfect, but I had a gas grill at the time.) The second time, I used my new blow torch. This was much better, although my target is that lovely even golden brown layer that splinters when hit with a spoon! May I never be satisfied with my efforts.... Have you ever heard of such an excuse to keep making these?!!!

rafatoc's picture
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I'm a Brazilian chef and I've tried lots of recipes, including Ladureé's.
This is the best recipe ever.
Very easy to make, really tastes good and an exceptional texture.
My fiance just got crazy!!! She said she's gonna love me forever!!! :)

serenco's picture

Can you use extra-thick double cream? I have a large pot I need to use up..

armadiloes's picture
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Wow this is one creme brulee! Full of flavour and calories so only reserved for treats or special occasions - this will certainly be on the dinner party menu!

ewalambe's picture

Great recipe! Delicious creme brulees. Just a word of warning - don't put your hot ramekins on the cold glass shelf of a fridge! I cracked mine and had to have it replaced.

dawn13's picture
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Great recipe! Worked perfectly the first time!

blesskmh's picture

Can someone tell me how to make for 8? Double ingredients? How long in oven. Thankyou in advance!

wimbles's picture

Can this recipe be made ahead of time, and if so how long would it keep please? Could I make the custard and just finish off with the toffee before serving? Can't wait to try this, just waiting for my cazuelas! Thanks

parryhl01's picture
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I made this today as it is my brothers favourite dessert and it was his 22nd birthday today, i have never made creme brûlée before as many people said it was difficult but if you follow this recipe closely you will come out with extremely yummy desserts! everyone in my family loved it and my dad said it was the best creme brûlée he had ever had (and thats saying something). Defo worth giving it a go :D

desertprincess's picture
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Wasn't sure how to rate this as there were good and bad things about the recipe.

I found it enough for 4 portions (and my ramekins aren't event that big). I used vanilla paste and when I got to the stage where I was supposed to scoop foam out I got a bit confused. It didn't really look like foam and if I did scoop out what I thought was the foam, then I wouldn't have had enough mixture in the end. As a result, when it came out of the oven, there were small bubbles on the surface.

I tried to caramelise by putting it under the grill but 20 minutes later, it still hadn't caramelised and I was scared that it would start cooking again. I have an electric grill so that may have been why. Aside from that, the texture was creamy and lovely.

Verdict - won't do it again without a blow torch.

alinabake's picture

I'm going to try this for a special meal tonight. Can't wait. I've made Creme brûlée using a different recipe before and just wanted to say I used the grill to caramelise the topping and it was PERFECT. No need for blow torch at all.

ticketyboo25's picture

I had a new blow torch for Christmas and wanted to try it out on a Creme Brulee. This recipe was very easy to follow. I baked mine for 30 mins in a fan oven at 160 degrees and they came out perfect! Everyone enjoyed :)

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