Ultimate crème brûlée

Ultimate crème brûlée

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(54 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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paros97's picture

Very simple and impressive dessert to make. Didn't change a thing and worked out perfect. Will definitely make again. Tip: pour hot cream very slowly and in small quantities into egg mixture to avoid curdling.

paros97's picture

Very simple and impressive dessert to make. Didn't change a thing and worked out perfect. Will definitely make again. Tip: pour hot cream very slowly and in small quantities into egg mixture to avoid curdling.

cocovanilla's picture
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One of the best recipes ever! I've made this three times, two were a success, the second time something went wrong.. but can't fault the recipe.
Yummy!

cgiovannone's picture
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Qiute simply the best recipe for creme brulee. I have made these over and over again and they have never failed to disappoint. Stunning.

cgiovannone's picture
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Quite simply the best ever recipe for creme brulee. I make them time and time again and they have always turned out fabulous.

rebusrubbit's picture
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Found the recipe very easy to follow. The end result was stunning to look at and tasted amazing. I have now put my blow-torch to good use! Will definitely make this again, highly recommend.

eatingforpleasure's picture
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This was my first attempt at Creme Brulee. Wish I had found this recipe before now. Made last night for Hogmany dinner party dessert. Wen down really well. Its so easy to make and taste yummy! One point;My ramekins are a little smaller than suggested so was able to make 6 portions, otherwise would change a thing. Enjoy.

mrs_maroc's picture

Lovely taste but what did i do wrong?... it wasnt set !! I note the recipe refers to the cream mix being 'hot' but mine was warm... would that cause it to be runny? I like creme brulee and would like to know what i did wrong.

kirkywirky's picture
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I love this recipe best creme brule ever i cant get enough of it i highly recomend it!

bbcheek's picture

This looked like it was going so well, the eggs didn't curdle when i was whisking the cream in....great. My cooker alarm sounded &....curdled creme brulee...what did i do wrong, followed the recipe, put baking sheet on top? Any ideas?

loui114's picture

i do this one at least twice per month . very easy to follow and tastes awesome

ffingy78's picture
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Everyone who has eaten this has been astounded, and I have become a bit famous for 'my' creme brulees. My other half, a big creme brulee fan, says it's better than anything he's eaten in a restaurant, and these days doesn't bother to order them from a restaurant as he says it won't compare to this recipe. High praise indeed! And apart from some juggling of bowls and stuff, it's a remarkably simple recipe to follow for fantastic results!

ericathefirst's picture
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Sheer perfection

macintyresarah's picture
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Was lovely, made for the in-laws went down a treat. Lovely smooth consistency. Cheated a little and used vanilla essence the pods just seem too fiddly. Feeling very pleased with myself, will make again!!

denno42's picture

I am about to make this Creme Brulee for the first time, I understand you can use Vanilla extract if you cannot get Vanilla Pods, can anyone advise me how much extract to use in place of the pods ?

naujoks's picture

What did I do wrong?
Filling the ramekins up to the top as suggested made them bubble over. Subsequently, when they came down again after cooling, the surface wasn't even. Also, when I put the custard in first, it was all smooth, but although it was in the oven for only 30 minutes, the mixture had curdled :(

dhoohar's picture
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My 17 year old daughter made this for Mother's Day as it is my favourite dessert and I can honestly say it's better than some I've tasted in good restaurants. Perfect consistency (she cooked it for 40 minutes) and a lovely crispy caramel topping. Perfect! It makes a generous 4 servings. The recipe could easily stretch to 6 by using slightly smaller ramekins.

becky1892's picture

How Long will this recipe keep for? If I make it Saturday will it still be ok to eat on Monday if left in the fridge?

kittydowner's picture
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An update from my post y'day:
I made the brulee the night before as the recipe said it could be made a day in advance... However, the following night when I served the brulee, it didn't taste as silky and smooth. So I would suggest to make it the day you wan to have it. Also, can someone let me know how to use the blowtorch? I tried it twice now but the sugar either didn't get melted and caramelized or just got burned! Welcome any advice on this.

kittydowner's picture
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My 1st creme brulee and it was wonderful! The brulee was so tasty, just like everyone's comment - smooth and light. I didn't have any vanilla pod so just added a teaspoonful of vanilla extract and it turned out great. I tried using the the blow torch but the top became very watery and the sugar didn't seem to crystalized well. Perhaps I need to let it sit for a bit after heating it up. Will try the blow torch again tonight when serving my guest tonight! Made 4 brulee and since only 3 of us tonight so used one last night to test it! Will do it again for sure.

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