Ultimate crème brûlée

Ultimate crème brûlée

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(64 ratings)

Ready in around 1 hour 30 minutes

More effort

Serves 4
Our professional tips will help you to create this crunchy-and-custardy delight

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: nutrition per serving (and worth it)

  • kcal620
  • fat59g
  • saturates34g
  • carbs17g
  • sugars13g
  • fibre0g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.01g
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  • 2 cartons double cream, 1 large (284ml) plus 1 small (142ml)
  • 100ml full-fat milk



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

  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5 large egg yolk
  • 50g golden caster sugar, plus extra for the topping


  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.

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Comments (81)

dractrek's picture

A fantastic treat. Made them for the first time ever last night and they were a stunning success.

316gooner's picture

Brilliant recipe, turned out really well and everyone said it was the best they had ever had

pup202's picture

Top recipe, Angela 'Ultimate' recipes are frankly brilliant and this is no exception. Even friends who didn't think they like creme brulee loved this one.

staggerlee's picture

Simple to make and deliciously tasty, although found portion size to be slightly on the large size, next time I might use 6 smaller ramekins rather than the four recommended.

charlieandjack's picture

Can this recipe be frozen after step 5? I have just made meringues and have 4 egg yolks left over. With friends coming next week I thought creme brulees would be a good option. Can anybody help?

meggyhawkins's picture

First time I'd ever made or eaten creme brulee and it was so easy to make and delicious. I don't have a blowtorch so put it under the grill, which worked perfectly.

gascoyne_d's picture

These were great. I added some orange zest to the cream mixture too which gave them a slightly more interesting flavour....hardest thing was getting the dishes out of the baking tray without dropping them.

corinnahubbard's picture

I really fancy making this but I don't have a blowtorch. any suggestoins?

my_dunh's picture

Creme brulee is one of my husband's favourite puddings of all time. I love making puddings as individual servings because they look so much smarter served up at dinner parties and it is so much easier to adjust amounts. I made only 2 puddings using 3 medium eggs and they turned out simply perfect. I don't bother with vanilla pods anymore because they are so expensive, but managed to find a 'posh' vanilla extract that comes complete with little seeds so it looks like proper vanilla pods were used.

zoerodda's picture

for the first time in 12 yrs my hubby made me a three course meal and this was the dessert. Easy to make and absolutely delicious even for a novice like him!!!!

thehindle's picture

Instead of using caster sugar for the topping try making a solid caramel with water and sugar set on foil and then put into a food processor and blitz to a fine powder thn sprinkle that on instead and blowtorch

naziapeeroo's picture

OOps 4got the Stars :}

naziapeeroo's picture

Absolutely Fantastic.. I have made other creme brulees in the past and they weren't that good. Will use only this recipe now. Unfortunately we don't have double cream in Mauritius, searched for it in all the super markets and food suppliers. Had to use only cream.

forestnuter's picture

An excellent recipe that is definitely worth mastering. A real crowd pleaser. Top notch!

joel73uk's picture

I've tried loads of creme brulee recipes and usually they are too sweet or have a very egg taste. I have to say this one is really good a perfect balance between cream and sweetness. Its sets to just the right consistency and is rich and indulgent as Creme Brulee should be!
The only thing I did different to the recipe was to use a large carton of Extra thick double cream. I usually find this seems to set better.

mrangeley's picture

This was fantastic, i have made other creme brulees in the past and they have always turned out terrible.
This is my favourite pudding of all time, so glad have found one that is easy and delicious to make, yum yum!

gemcheat's picture

Delicious! Such a simple recipe.

santiagoj94's picture

I added a bit to this amazing recipe just before step two add about 3-5 tablespoons of lemon juice. but add at step two to keep the cream from curdiling unless you want buttermilk which is quite good as a substitute fot the creme it renders a more silky richer creme brulee

jowillmott's picture

The perfect recipe and so easy to make. Recommend spooning in to ramakins though. Loved by all.

julie_mo's picture

Absolutely fantastic! So easy to make and tasted devine - will keep this recipe for life!!!


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