This classic crème brûlée is a winner every time. Makes 4 or 6 dependent on ramekin size so ideal for entertaining or if you just want to eat 4 or 6 crème brûlées in one go. Don’t knock it til you try it…
A classic crème brûlée is one of those desserts that, when looking at the ingredients, is really easy and yet it can go wrong really quickly if you don’t keep an eye on it.
What makes a perfect Classic Crème Brûlée?
To me the perfect classic crème brûlée is one that is thick, luxurious,creamy and most importantly of all, just set. It really is one of those truly simple pleasures in life when you crack through the crunchy, glossy sugar with the back side of a spoon. The custard, if just set, will be firm, really shiny, and start to ooze towards the bottom of the ramekin.
You know when it’s not right when the set custard is too firm or too “eggy”. If you’ve ever had one that is over cooked then you know exactly what I mean.
I’ve tried lots of different recipes for creating a truly exceptional classic crème brûlée. The one I am going to share with you is my favourite.
One thing I do differently is, as soon as I remove the ramekins from the oven, I put them in an ice water bath. Now, there is no proof of this but I think that by cooling the ramekins as quickly as possible, it helps to keep the “just set” feel to them, they don’t continue to cook as they cool down. That’s my theory anyway. Oh and for the sugar, you can use whatever sugar you like. I prefer to use demarara sugar. The shards are a lot bigger and spread really well when caramelised. Demarara also has a bit of a fruity taste to it, which works really well!
This recipe is one that is best left to set properly over night, so once the crème brûlée are super cold, whack them in the fridge over night. This is a recipe that is definitely one to make in advance but will be bound to impress! It’s also super easy
Classic Crème Brûlée
- 450 ml whipping cream
- 6 egg yolks (reserve and freeze the whites for other dishes)
- 70 g caster sugar
- 1 tspn vanilla bean paste
- Demerara Sugar to serve
- Preheat the oven to 150° C / gas mark 2
- Add the cream to a saucepan with the vanilla bean paste. Bring to the boil and then remove from heat. Allow to cool, but not completely.
- In a large bowl, mix together the egg yolks and the sugar.
- Pour the cream into the egg/sugar mix whilst whisking until combined. Do not over whisk.
- Pass the custard through a fine sieve.
- pour into 4 ramekins, or more if your ramekins are shallower.
- Place the ramekins into a deep-sided roasting tray and pour cool water to level off half way up their sides. Place the tray into the centre of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes. You'll know they're ready when they just wobble in the centre.
- Just before you're ready to take them out, take a second roasting tray or a large saute pan and add ice cold water (or ice cubes if you have). Remove the ramekins from the hot tray (with your hands covered, they'll be hot!) and place into the second pan.
- Once the ramekins are cool, place in the fridge and chill over night.
- When completely set, sprinkle each crème brûlée with demerara sugar, just enough to evenly cover the surface.
- Using a cooks blowtorch, melt the sugar on top of the crème brûlées, allow to firm up and cool, then serve.