Ultimate crème brûlée with a spoon

Ultimate crème brûlée

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(91 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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6th May, 2012
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.
22nd Apr, 2012
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 :)
10th Mar, 2012
Really easy to make and fabulous to eat.. It will be made in my house many times to come. smaller ramekins means of course less time in the oven. It keeps perfectly over night under cling film for anyone doing a dinner party.
26th Feb, 2012
cooked to the jelly like consistency suggested at 35 minutes but even after a night in the fridge i had semi liquid creme brulee! very disappointed after the many good comments
19th Feb, 2012
These came out perfectly and looked so professional. My dishes were slightly smaller so the recipe actually made 5 servings. I served this with shortbread biscuits and some fresh raspberries.
16th Feb, 2012
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.
16th Feb, 2012
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.
13th Feb, 2012
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!
22nd Jan, 2012
Qiute simply the best recipe for creme brulee. I have made these over and over again and they have never failed to disappoint. Stunning.
22nd Jan, 2012
Quite simply the best ever recipe for creme brulee. I make them time and time again and they have always turned out fabulous.


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