Ultimate crème brûlée with a spoon

Ultimate crème brûlée

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(87 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 30 mins - 40 mins Plus chilling

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…

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


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ 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 large and small cartons of double cream into a medium pan with 100ml full-fat milk. 

  3. Lay 1 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.

  4. Put 5 large egg yolks and 50g golden caster sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 min with an electric hand whisk until paler in colour and a bit fluffy.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Pour in enough hot water (from the tap) 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Bake for 30-35 mins 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.

  12. Lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin with oven gloves and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of mins only, then put in the fridge to cool completely. This can be done overnight without affecting the texture.

  13. 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.

  14. 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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14th Dec, 2014
Really good recipe but it's not advisable to loo at calorie content. Went down well will be making it again
Life Of Diva
13th Dec, 2014
Foods which gives you immense satisfaction must read http://www.lifeofdiva.com/category/eating-healthy/
16th Aug, 2014
Possibly the greatest dessert ever!!!! 620 calories of pure heaven! And super easy to make :) dangerously easy in fact!
9th May, 2014
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 ?
17th Jan, 2014
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 :)
1st May, 2013
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.
1st May, 2013
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.
Setapak100's picture
21st Apr, 2013
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!
10th Apr, 2013
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?!!!
3rd Apr, 2013
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!!! :)


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