Easy Crème Brulee
July 27: National Crème Brulee Day
We sometimes order crème brulee at restaurants because they look like an impressive dessert. But after we got a crème brulee torch as a Christmas gift a few years ago, we have been impressing our own guests ever since!
Crème brulee is basically a custard. But it is the crackly burnt sugar top that makes this dessert unique. It is not that hard to make either, and we use the leftover egg yolks from another French-inspired confection—macarons (see samples on our Mac Attack page).
Impress your guests and make an easy crème brulee, especially for National Crème Brulee Day.
(Adapted from CD Kitchen)
- 6-8 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract)
- ½ cup light brown sugar, reserved for the topping
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, cream, sugar and vanilla. Whisk until ingredients are blended well. Strain the mixture to reduce any bubbles and foam. Pour evenly among 8-10 small ramekins (ceramic dishes). Place in a larger baking pan.
Boil water. Pour the boiled water halfway up the sides of the ramekins to make a water bath. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees F for an hour or more, testing for doneness with a toothpick (it took us 1 ½ hours in our kitchen). Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the ramekins to a wire rack. Cool for about 30 minutes then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Before serving, sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar on top. Carefully use a crème brulee torch in a back and forth or circular motion to caramelize the sugar to a crisp. Serve immediately while the custard is still cold and the sugar top hardens.
- If a crème brulee torch is unavailable, broil them in the oven close to the heating unit. First freeze the custards for about 10-15 minutes before sprinkling the brown sugar on top. Then broil for 5 minutes or until the sugar starts to bubble and darken.
- Baking time may vary, depending on one’s oven so adjust the time every 15 minutes when necessary. Test the crème brulee after 45 minutes by inserting a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it is done. The custards may jiggle a bit in the middle but it should set when cool.
- Thanks to Olga W. for gifting us with a crème brulee torch set!