Creme Brulee: The Best Classic Recipe
Creme brulee is a classic dessert that can be found in restaurants across the world. Simple yet delicious, you won’t have to go all the way to France to taste this creamy sweet. If you’ve ever sampled a freshly made creme brulee then you will understand why they are so popular. Creamy and smooth with a crispy caramelized sugar topping, creme brulee is the ultimate after-dinner treat. Luckily, you don’t have to visit a restaurant to get your creme brulee fix. In this article, we have researched the best classic French creme brulee recipes and with a little practice, you are sure to impress guests with your super sweet cooking skills!
Simple Creme Brulee Recipe
One of the best things about easy creme brulee is that it only requires a few ingredients. Nothing fancy is needed, just a little patience and the right type of homeware.
Here is what you’ll need for the prep & baking:
- 4 x ramekins
- Deep roasting tin or deep cake tin (at least 7.5cm deep)
- Baking tray
- Mixing bowl
- Electric whisk
- Fine sieve
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Wire rack
- Mini blow torch or grill
- Garden spray
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- 426ml double cream
- 100ml full fat milk
- 1 x vanilla pod
- 5 x large egg yolks
- 50g golden caster sugar plus extra for sprinkling on top
Making Creme Brulee:
- The first thing you will need to do is to preheat your oven to gas mark 4, 180C or 160C for a fan-assisted oven. Place the ramekins into a deep roasting tin and set them aside for later.
- Slowly pour the double cream into a medium-sized pan along with all of the full fat milk.
- Slice the vanilla pod lengthwise with a sharp knife and cut right through the center. Using the very tip of the knife you can then scrape the seeds from both sides into the cream and milk mixture. You can even add the leftover vanilla pods for now, give the whole mixture a stir and then set this aside.
- Place the egg yolks and 50g of caster sugar into a large mixing bowl and using your electric whisk, proceed to mix for a few minutes or until the mixture starts to gain a fluffy texture.
- Place the pan containing the cream, milk and vanilla pods onto the hob on a medium heat and simmer away until it’s almost boiling. When you start to see it beginning to bubble in the pan it’s ready to remove from the heat.
- The next stage is to carefully pour the hot cream mixture into the beaten egg yolk mix. Using a whisk to gently fold the ingredients together, making sure you get as many of the vanilla seeds as possible for maximum flavor (but not the outer pods, those will need removing first!).
- Place your sieve over a large jug and pour the mixture through to strain the ingredients and sieve out any larger vanilla pod pieces.
- You should now see a creamy mixture which has a pale foam topping. You will need to use a spoon to remove this foam. You can discard this once removed. Stir the mixture gently.
- Fill a glass or jug with hot tap water and gently pour into the deep roasting tin. You should aim to get the water to come up around 1.5cm on the ramekins. Pour the hot cream mixture into each ramekin and fill them right up to the top.
- 10. Place the roasting tin with ramekins into the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top, ensuring that each little ramekin is completely covered. You want to leave a little gap at the top so air can properly circulate and cook the mixture through.
- Keep in the oven for around 30-35 mins. When you test the mix it should be very softly set and will wobble a little in the middle like jello. This is completely normal! You don’t want them too firm or too soft.
- When they are ready you can carefully lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin (don’t forget to use oven mitts) and place them on a wire rack to cool down for a few minutes and then place in the fridge.
- These are perfect desserts to make in advance as the final prep takes seconds and looks super impressive! You’ll need to first clean around the edges of the dishes and then sprinkle around 1-2 tsp of golden caster sugar onto the creme brulee mix. Make sure the top of the dessert is entirely coated.
- Using your clean plant spray add a little water to the sugar to dampen the mix. You’ll then need to get your blow torch (please read the instructions fully before operating as these little devices can be super dangerous!). Holding the flame slightly above the sugar you need to blast it with heat whilst moving it around to not burn the sugar. The sugar should caramelize easily and look dark brown…definitely not black! Wait around an hour until nice and crispy to enjoy.
Easy Creme Brulee Dairy-Free Style
If you’re allergic to dairy do not despair. You can find simple creme brulee recipes online that do not require the use of milk or cream. If you swap out the milk and cream for 1 x 400ml coconut milk and prepare as above you will get the same results with a different subtle flavor.
Tasty Creme Brulee Vegan Style
If you do not wish to use eggs in your creme brulee then this is possible too. Just simply add 250ml plant-based milk, 50g caster sugar, 25g corn starch and 1tsp vanilla essence to a cold pan and heat up gently. Spoon the mixture into ramekins once it’s thickened, let it cool down for 10 x mins and then cool down in the fridge. Once firm you are ready to add the sugar and caramelize.