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Crème Brûlée

November 15, 2010

How is the weekend almost over? I really have a lot more laying around to do, so if we could maybe change our clocks back a day (or ten), that would be very helpful.

This weekend I made my first batch of crème brûlée. Or apparently it can also be spelled like crème brulée. Or just creme brulee. Good, I’m glad we got that settled.

For my birthday, I received a cooking torch (sorry, a culinary torch) and have been wanting to try it out. This is the obvious dish to use it for. I’ve never made crème brûlée and have only eaten it a few times, but it’s really pretty easy.

I made 1/4-batch of this recipe, which yielded two small (4 oz) ramekins worth of the custard:


8 egg yolks (I didn’t read this correctly and used the whole eggs)
1/3 cup granulated white sugar (I think a little extra sugar wouldn’t hurt. Also, I used vanilla sugar for fun)
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for the caramelized tops)


Preheat oven to 300ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles. (I just poured it through a hand strainer and that seemed to keep the major bubbles out.)

Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a water bath (large pan filled with 1 or 2 inches of hot water) and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 50 to 60 minutes. (I was surprised that it took the full 60 minutes even for my small ramekins.) Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled.

Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don’t have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving.

I took a few photos for those who might not know what to expect (as I didn’t):

The left photo is what they looked like going into the oven, the center photo is after they have been baked. So there’s not really any major appearance change (the coloring difference is more lighting than actual difference), which kind of surprised me. The third is to show how much sugar I put on top, but I’m not sure if I used enough. I am thinking it’s maybe supposed to be a more solid sheet than the crystally top that I ended up with. Those of you are crème brûlée masters can give me insight, if you want.

UPDATE: My friend helped me fill the torch and we tried again–here he is, torching it up real nice.

The final [updated] result:


From → recipes

  1. Anonymous permalink

    This is one of my very favorite desserts. My mouth was watering as I read this post. Great pictures! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. -R

  2. Thanks! I always have a hard time knowing if the photos look appetizing because by the time I post them, I have usually eaten said dish and so I don't crave it. It's always nice to know they are enticing!

  3. Jennifer, I'll respond but I'm deleting your comment since it's a little too specific for my public blog. 😛 I published it before I read it all the way.

    The way you fuel it up is by pushing the spare fuel can up against a part of the torch and it fills it, but it says to fill until it starts leaking out, and I swear it starts leaking the minute I am filling! Unless I'm misunderstanding. So I am not putting enough in at once and it's running out quickly. I'm just really dumb about it and need to read up or something. 🙂

    Yeah I want to make it for others but wanted to try it first before I subject people to it since I had NO experience with such a thing. I need to buy more ramekins and we can do a creme brulee night!

  4. Oh and it tasted good! I just think it needs a tiny bit more sugar to be perfect.

  5. Interesting! …and sounds complicated! I think I'll leave these up to you to perfect. 🙂

    Oops! Sorry! Wasn't thinking. Should have said, “Your neck of the woods.” 😛

  6. It's okay! 🙂 I'm sure people can figure out my location somehow, but might as well not hand it to them on a platter. 😉

    Yeah, I might need to take a class on torchery.

  7. I eat experimental food every time I cook something : ) Looks delicious. Not sure I would have the patience to make it (pretty sure I wouldn't).

  8. Actually it doesn't require much patience except that it has to chill for a couple of hours. 🙂 Making it is surprisingly easy.

  9. Our family used to go to this particular restaurant often that served creme brulee, and my grandma would always scrape off the topping (because she was diabetic and couldn't have the sugar but for some reason could have the custard…) and give it to me. Double topping time boyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

  10. Ha! I can't remember if you've told me that before. But it is surprising how low in sugar the creme brulee is–I was noticing that. This recipe used very little, and there aren't many carbs in the cream, so it actually seems like a decent diabetic dessert! Especially if you used fake sugar.

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