With our tried, tested and true recipe, you can recreate this luxurious dessert at home! Only 5–6 ingredients needed, and no special techniques are required to make this creamy, silky-smooth crème brûlée. Everyone will watch in awe as you torch the tops and give them a beautiful golden-brown sheen. [Go straight to recipe]
It’s not surprising that crème brûlée is loved by many. This silky-smooth custard dessert has a layer of caramelised sugar, which cracks dramatically when you dig into it.
Not to mention that the flavours balance each other out—the mildly sweet custard base makes a wonderful combination with the slightly burnt, bittersweet caramel. Oh, life’s simple pleasures.
However, many haven’t realised how simple it is to make crème brûlée.
With 5 simple ingredients and less than one hour, you’ll have a luxurious dessert ready to serve! Say goodbye to the hefty price tag that often comes with it.
Crème brûlée is also the perfect make-ahead dessert. Prepare the custard days in advance, let them set in the fridge, and torch the tops just before serving.
Creamy and Silky Smooth Creme Brûlée
Our recipe is quite simple, but the tips below will help you get the best results. Once you discover the secrets to this crowd-pleaser, you’ll be making them over and over again!
Use the Right Ingredient Ratio.
Heavy cream and egg yolks are the main components in crème brûlée.
These ingredients have to be at the right ratio to produce a creamy, silky texture. For our recipe, we use 3 egg yolks to 190ml of heavy cream.
Since we’re only using the yolks for this recipe, save the egg whites to bake some Chocolate Souffle or Meringue Kisses. Nothing goes to waste, and everyone gets to choose their favourite sweet treat!
Temper the Egg Yolks.
“Tempering” sounds like a fancy technique, but there’s nothing to fear.
Tempering is basically a technique that is used to slowly bring up the temperature of an ingredient that’s sensitive to heat—such as eggs and milk—to keep them from cooking, curdling or scrambling.
In this recipe, we are combining hot cream with egg yolks. To prevent the egg yolks from scrambling when hot cream is added, we have to temper the yolks by slowly pouring some of the hot cream in while whisking.
This helps to bring up the temperature of the egg yolks slowly, before we add in the rest of the hot cream.
This technique is also featured in our cream puff baking kits, such as this Belgian Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cream Puffs.
Although it sounds simple, you should never skip this step. You don’t want any scrambled egg yolks in your crème brûlée!
However, if you did not temper the yolks properly, you might see some floating bits of cooked egg in your mixture. Simply pass it through a sieve to remove the cooked bits of yolk.
It’s important to fully understand what’s written in the recipe, but baking terms could feel unfamiliar at times. Look them up in our Ultimate A to Z Glossary and you’ll master the recipe in no time!
Strain the Custard.
To make your custard mixture completely smooth, run it through a fine-mesh sieve.
This step will break any remaining lumps, making your crème brûlée silky-smooth!
Choose the Right Ramekins.
Small individual ramekins are ideal for crème brûlée. To ensure the custard cooks evenly, choose ones that are not too deep.
Ramekins with a wider mouth provide more area for the sweet, crunchy caramelised sugar. It’s one of our favourite parts in crème brûlée, and you’ll love it as much as we do!
Our ramekins come in Midnight Black, Baby Blue, Powder Pink, and Teal Green. Besides a beautiful matte finish, the ceramic material gives them extra durability. They can withstand high temperatures, so there’s no need to worry about them cracking while you bake or torch the tops!
Do Not Overbake!
To get the desired creamy texture, do not overbake your crème brûlée.
The key is to aim for a jiggly centre. Your crème brûlée might look undercooked after the suggested baking time, but don’t be tempted to continue baking!
The crème brûlée will gradually thicken as it cools down. Once you pop them in the fridge, they will set and get the right texture.
We recommend chilling the crème brûlée for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
However, if you’re short on time, chilling until they’re just set and chilled through works just fine too.
Completely Cover the Surface with Sugar.
Regular fine granulated sugar works well for making the crunchy caramelised top.
Sprinkle sugar all over the surface and make sure the custard is completely covered. If any parts of the custard are exposed to heat, it’ll curdle and create an unpleasant texture.
Do not use overly coarse sugar, otherwise the sugar might be slightly more difficult to melt and caramelise.
No Blowtorch? No Problem!
You can also use your oven on broiler mode to caramelise the top, or a kitchen lighter. It works just fine, like we did for these S’mores Bites!
Place your crème brûlée on the topmost oven rack, then broil on high until the surface browns or slightly blackens. Take them out once the desired colour is achieved.
Once the caramelised sugar layer hardens, crack it with your spoon and dig in!
Silky Smooth Crème Brûlée
yields 2-3 ramekins (depending on size)
190ml heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
3 egg yolks
Sugar, for sprinkling on top
- Heat cream, milk and sugar in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm.
- Mix in vanilla and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until homogenous
- Pour ⅓ of cream mixture into the beaten egg yolks and whisk until just combined. This step is done to temper the egg yolks.
- Pour the remaining cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk until just combined.
- Run the mixture through a sieve and divide it evenly into the ramekins.
- Bake at 110°C for 10 minutes, then 120°C for another 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. To check if they’re cooked, gently shake the ramekins. The middle should jiggle slightly.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack and place in the fridge to chill.
- Just before serving, sprinkle a layer of sugar on the surface and use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar until it browns or slightly blackens.
Creamy and Silky Smooth Creme Brûlée
Making crème brulee is much easier than it seems. Follow the steps carefully, and you’re only one step away from the dessert of your dreams!
Try baking some Chocolate Souffle if you’re craving for more Christmassy sweet treats. It’s just as impressive, and let’s be honest—who doesn’t love chocolate?
Love Chocolate and Cream Fillings?
Psst—if you love chocolate and smooth custards/creams, we bet you’ll love these Belgian Dark Chocolate Peppermint Cream Puffs.
Light cocoa choux stuffed with a silky smooth Belgian dark chocolate pastry cream, with a subtle hint of peppermint will make any chocoholic go gaga. Get the all-in-one baking kit here to bake this Christmas here, available for a limited time only.