French vanilla creme brulee is one of the 1st desserts I learned to make in France. It is very similar to a creme caramel, which I was very familiar with growing up but instead of caramelizing the sugar and putting it in the bottom, the creme brulee sugar is caramelized on the top and it crystalizes therefore giving a toffee-like topping. It is very similar to a creme Catalana as well in fact identical in visual appearance.
Creme brulee means burnt cream because the sugar is burnt on the top.
The texture of the creme brulee is meant to be very soft, when cooked in the oven you should never overcook it. It should still jiggle when taken out of the oven. When kept in the refrigerator, it hardens up but when burnt with the sugar, it will come to this perfect custard-like consistency. which is super creamy and delicious.
French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Making creme brulee at home is quite simple. With this recipe, you can be sure you will get restaurant-quality creme brulee at home
Crème Brûlée ingredients
Creme brulee ingredients are pretty simple
- Cream: Thickened cream or whipping cream
- Vanilla: I am using vanilla beans here, which is the best and the traditional way. You can use vanilla essence but you will not get the same quality as using vanilla beans
- Egg yolks: This is to thicken the mixture
- Sugar: White caster sugar
How To Make French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
It is the same process as making custard.
- Boil the milk and vanilla together then pour it over the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
- The egg yolk mix needs to look pale, fluffy, and thickened this will ensure the base of the creme brulee is creamy.
- Then it is baked in the oven.
- It is very important to set it in the fridge for at least 12 hours, this will thicken and set the creme brulee.
- Once it is set then dust sugar and burn the top with a blow torch. If you don’t have a blow torch then use the oven.
Oven Settings French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Not everyone has access to a blow torch in this case use the oven grill method
How to make creme brulee without a blow torch
Once the custards are baked in the oven it needs to set in the fridge overnight. Preheat the oven on the grill to function at 250C. Bake for 4-5 mins
then immediately place it in the fridge for 20 minutes and serve. The reason why we add it in the fridge after caramelizing the top is that unlike the blow torch the oven will melt the custard, so it is important to set it again in the fridge
where did creme brulee originate
Well at first glance we would all come to the conclusion it is originated from France but Spain, England, and France all of them claim to be the country where it originated
The Essential Equipment Needed To Make French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
creme brulee topping
- Whipped cream
How To Store French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
Creme brulee can be made a day ahead but the sugar needs to be burnt just before serving, so you can have the toffee top that will crack.
it can be stored for up to 3 days prior to caramelising the top
Creme brulee needs to be refrigerated. If you have remaining caramelized creme brulee it still can be stored in the fridge until the next day but it will not have a hard sugar top that can be cracked.
Creme brulee is served cold but when caramelizing the sugar on the top it will warm up slightly which will bring it to room temperature.
Common Mistakes when making vanilla Crème Brûlée
- Always slightly undercooked the creme Brulee, it has to have a slight jiggle when taken out of the oven this will ensure the perfect texture
Don’t add too much sugar on top, just 1 tbsp each is sufficient, and make sure the sugar is spread across the whole surface
- Creme brulee texture should not be hard like a creme caramel it is very soft. It should resemble a semi hard custard like texture.Burning of the sugar on the top will make the creme brulee come to its perfect consistency
You can also check my other dessert recipes here
Step By Step Guide On How To Make French vanilla Crème Brûlée
French Vanilla Crème Brûlée
- 250 g Cream Thicken, Whipped cream
- 1 Vanilla bean or vanilla essence
- 2 1/2 Egg yolk
- 25 g Sugar White caster
- Sugar for caramalising White caster
- Preheat oven to 130C conventional oven
- Into a medium-size pan add cream, vanilla and 3/4 of the sugar and bring to a boil
- In a separate bowl whisk egg yolk and the remaining sugar. This should be whisked well until fluffy, pale and thickened
- Pour the boiled milk and sugar while it is hot into the whisked egg yolk mixture and mix well
- Pour the custard mixture into small oven proof ramekins. Place the ramekins on a deep tray. Pour water onto the tray so the pots can be steamed inside the oven
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. The size of the ramekins will depend on the exact time needed in the oven. So keep an eye out with the timing
- Once baked store them in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve, take it out of the fridge, dust sugar on the surface and burn the sugar using a blow torch until caramelised. garnish with berries and mint and serve immediately
- If you don't have a blow torch then use the oven for this process, see notes above on the article on how to caramelise the suagr in the oven