How to make crème brûlée

Crème brûlée

How to make crème brûlée

by Great British Chefs14 March 2016

How to make crème brûlée

A classic French dessert, the first records of crème brûlée date right back to the seventeenth century. Known in the UK as burnt cream and crema Catalana in Spain, crème brûlée is a simple mixture of eggs, sugar and cream or milk which is cooked until just set, before being cooled and then caramelised with sugar just before serving at room temperature.




  • 200ml of cream
  • 100ml of milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g of sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • Demerara sugar, to caramelise
Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
Place the cream and milk in a saucepan, scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add both to the milk and cream
Bring to the boil then leave to cool slightly
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until well combined, then add to the milk and cream. Use a spatula to combine the ingredients to prevent excess air bubbles
Once combined, pass through a fine sieve into a jug and divide equally between 4 ramekins
Place the ramekins into a roasting tray and fill the tray halfway with hot water
Carefully place into the oven and bake for 35–40 minutes, until just set with a slight wobble in the centre
Remove the the tray and allow to cool. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours or even overnight, then remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving
To glaze, sprinkle liberally with sugar, wiping away any excess from the sides, then caramelise with a blowtorch or under a hot grill. Leave the sugar to set for a couple of minutes before serving


Try flavouring the brûlée with herbs such as lavender or thyme or substitute the sugar for honey. For an extra fragrant brûlée, you could try adding spices such as pink peppercorns, fennel seeds or even juniper berries.

Serving suggestions

Stephen Crane infuses his crème brûlée with tonka beans and serves with a fruity apricot sorbet, while Graham Hornigold encases the custard in pastry in his challenging Strawberry brûlée tart and Mark Dodson showcases an apple-flavoured crème brûlée in his Trio of desserts.

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