Ultimate crème brûlée

Ultimate crème brûlée

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(67 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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Ingredients

  • 2 cartons double cream, 1 large (284ml) plus 1 small (142ml)
  • 100ml full-fat milk

    Milk

    mill-k

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

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

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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 mixture 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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, questions and tips

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mothertheresa
31st Mar, 2018
5.05
Excellent recipe, easy to follow, came out perfectly. Much better than a lot of restaurant takes on brûlée.
Mark Stenner's picture
Mark Stenner
2nd Feb, 2018
This recipe does not work because the oven temp is TOO HIGH, recommend you go no higher than 120, the water only needs to boil.
john1287
4th Jan, 2018
Does the brulee need to be covered when put in the fridge to set? Like a Panna Cotta withe the cling film touching the surface? Or just left exposed?
loolabelle1980
4th Jan, 2018
I don't, you could though, as when it comes to sprinkling the sugar for blow torching/grilling you won't notice what is beneath the surface much anyway, that goes for any bubbles aswell, so i don't worry too much about skimming too much off...
Baker-Elfriede
2nd Sep, 2017
5.05
Delicious foolproof recipe, I use the grill to caramelise the sugar and they always come out perfect, gorgeously creamy with a great taste of vanilla.
Maximo63
14th May, 2017
I made this last Sunday,first attempt at a brulee....It was perfect,really nice.In fact my daughter said it was the best brulee she has ever tasted.....And she's a chef!!
rosedepass
2nd Jul, 2016
This recipe does not work. The oven temperature is too high and they scrambled. I recommend cooking at 160-170 degrees. I recommend Nigella.
dz1000
16th Mar, 2017
5.05
Of course it works. You obviously did something wrong. It's an easy recipe for most and the results are excellent.
jeyleebean
4th Sep, 2015
5.05
Made this yesterday for 12 people and it was gobbled up instantly. Many happy bellies. I double the quantity and used the yolks of 5 large eggs and the yolks of 6 small eggs. Creme 850ml and 100ml of milk. Things I've learned while making this yesterday as it was my first attempt. 1. It's important to cook it through else it'll be runny (I tried in 5 ramekins, one flat dish and a round large pot (400ml's) The ones in the ramekin set beautifully, the flat dish was a bit soft and the large pot runny 2. When adding the hot cream to the yolk mixture, add little by little, don't whack the whole thing in. I had it in a slow stream pouring with the left hand and whisking with the right. 3. Get rid of the foamy liquid that is a result of whisking as it has lots of air bubbles in it and it won't look so pretty if you don't. I lifted most of the foam out. 4. Enjoy, this is truly tasty!
PHinch94
5th Aug, 2015
5.05
Everybody loves it, including people who never usually order creme brulee. Reminds me a little of doing a cheesecake, in the sense that the outcome seems far better than the effort in making it.

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Corkgal
12th Jan, 2018
I have made this twice with no issues but this time it won't set for me. Any suggestions as to what could be the cause?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
12th Jan, 2018
Sorry to hear you had a problem this time around. We can suggest a few potential issues, either the ingredients weren't measured correctly, the eggs were too small or the problem might be with oven temperature or length of cooking time. We hope this gets to the bottom of it and you have success again next time.
Sarah Le Fustec's picture
Sarah Le Fustec
15th Dec, 2017
If I wanted to make a Baileys crème brulee, how do I adapt this recipe? Thanks so much!
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
19th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately we are unable to give specific advice for changing the recipe as we triple test all our recipes to guarantee good results. You might like to try the following as an alternative: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/890640/baileys-banana-trifles
patfox's picture
patfox
26th Nov, 2017
If Im making it for 8 people do I double up the ingredients
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
27th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. Yes, simply double the recipe to serve 8.
danmaca
27th Sep, 2015
5.05
Worked perfectly first time, tasted wonderful! However, all the seeds were sitting at the bottom of the ramekins. Is there a way of avoiding this?
pams
23rd Nov, 2014
I made these last Christmas and they went down very well. Can someone tell me how far in advance I can make them and how long I can store them for in the fridge as I'd like to be better organised this year.
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
5th Dec, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Only make these one day in advance, or the texture will be affected.
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