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Crème Brûlée

crème brûlée Dessert
Crème Brûlée
  • Prep 20 min
  • Total 7 hr 0 min
  • Servings 4

Julia Child believed that every woman should own a blowtorch. If you’ve lucky enough to have one, it will come in handy for this easy crème brulee recipe. And, if not, the broiler is a great stand-in for a handy-dandy blowtorch. MORE+ LESS-

October 4, 2018

Ingredients

6
egg yolks
2
cups whipping cream
1/3
cup granulated sugar
1
teaspoon vanilla
Boiling water
8
teaspoons granulated sugar

Steps

Hide Images
  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F. In 13x9-inch pan, place 4 (6-oz) ceramic ramekins.* In small bowl, slightly beat egg yolks with wire whisk. In large bowl, stir whipping cream, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla until well mixed. Add egg yolks; beat with wire whisk until evenly colored and well blended. Pour cream mixture evenly into ramekins.
  • 2
    Carefully place pan with ramekins in oven. Pour enough boiling water into pan, being careful not to splash water into ramekins, until water covers two-thirds of the height of the ramekins.
  • 3
    Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until top is light golden brown and sides are set (centers will be jiggly).
  • 4
    Using tongs or grasping tops of ramekins with pot holder, carefully transfer ramekins to cooling rack. Cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours but no longer than 48 hours.
  • 5
    Uncover ramekins; gently blot any liquid from tops of custards with paper towel. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons granulated sugar over each chilled custard. Holding kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches from custard, caramelize sugar on each custard by heating with torch about 2 minutes, moving flame continuously over sugar in circular motion, until sugar is melted and light golden brown. (To caramelize sugar in the broiler, see Broiler Directions below.) Serve immediately, or refrigerate up to 8 hours before serving.

Expert Tips

  • This four-ingredient dessert is a classic (translated as burnt cream, but it really refers to the melted sugar on top) that takes well to other flavors. Scrape some fresh vanilla bean paste into the cream and use two more egg yolks for a French vanilla custard. Add a splash of an orange, hazelnut, or chocolate liquor to the cream. Or include a small pour of rum, brandy, or almond extract with the vanilla—all flavors that partner well with the caramelized sugar.
  • Be sure to use small ceramic ramekins that are heavier than glass custard cups and will stand up to the intense heat of a flame or broiler.
  • A fine baker’s granulated sugar tends to melt best if you use a small kitchen torch for melting, while a fine layer of brown sugar melts best under the broiler.
  • Broiler Directions: If kitchen torch is unavailable, set oven control to broil. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons brown sugar over each chilled custard. Place ramekins in 15x10x1-inch pan or on cookie sheet with sides. Broil with tops 4 to 6 inches from heat 5 to 6 minutes or until brown sugar is melted and forms a glaze.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
540
Calories from Fat
390
% Daily Value
Total Fat
44g
67%
Saturated Fat
25g
127%
Trans Fat
1g
Cholesterol
440mg
147%
Sodium
55mg
2%
Potassium
150mg
4%
Total Carbohydrate
30g
10%
Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
Sugars
29g
Protein
7g
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
30%
30%
Vitamin C
0%
0%
Calcium
10%
10%
Iron
4%
4%
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 1 High-Fat Meat; 7 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • There may be no dessert more magical than crème brûlée. It’s the ultimate example of the sum being greater than its parts, as this showstopper is made with only cream, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and water. And don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name, which actually means “burnt cream.” This dessert is merely a custard with a candied top — thanks to your broiler. In fact that hard, glazed top is what makes crème brûlée so wonderful, because it provides the perfect contrast to the cool and creamy custard below. When using a broiler, as opposed to a kitchen torch, the trick to getting the top perfectly cooked is to use brown sugar and position the oven rack, so the tops of the ramekins are four to six inches from the broiler. Ready to master this dessert? Betty will walk you through every step in this article about how to make crème brûlée.

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