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Creme Brûlée, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Recipes

Perfect Creme Brûlée 4 Ways!

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Hi Bold Bakers! Creme Brûlée is a simple yet impressive dessert on its own but some people are afraid to make it. This week, I’ll show you how to make perfect Creme Brûlée every time along with 4 flavor varieties I know you’ll love. So let’s get baking!

4.73 from 11 votes
Creme Brûlée, Gemma Stafford, Bigger Bolder Baking, Recipes
Perfect Creme Brûlée 4 Ways!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Ingredients
  • Gemma's Creme Brûlée
  • 2 cups (full) (500ml/18fl oz) Cream
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ½ vanilla pod and seeds (if you have one)
  • ½ cup (100g/4oz) caster sugar, plus extra for the topping
  • 6 free-range egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F
  2. Pour the cream into a saucepan. Add the vanilla extract. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape the seeds into the cream. (optional, but a nice touch)
  3. On Medium heat, gently bring the cream to boiling point. Turn off just when it is about to come to a boil. Let it sit to 10 minutes to infuse the vanilla pod for stronger flavor.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks together in a large heatproof bowl until well combined.
  5. Pour the cream over the egg mixture and whisk.
  6. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large jug, this will remove any bits of vanilla pod and cooked egg.
  7. Pour your custard into fill 6 ramekins to about two-thirds full.
  8. Place the ramekins into a large roasting tray and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up their outsides. (This is called a bain-marie.)
  9. Place the bain-marie onto the centre shelf of the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the custards are just set but still a bit wobbly in the middle.
  10. NOTE, DEPENDING ON THE SIZE AND HOW DEEP YOUR DISHE IS COOKING TIME MAY BE DIFFERENT, CHECK ON YOUR BRULEE AFTER 25/30 MINUTES
  11. Remove the ramekins from the water and set aside to cool to room temperature. Chill until needed.
  12. When ready to serve, sprinkle one level teaspoon of caster sugar evenly over the surface of each crème brûlée, then caramelise with a chefs' blow-torch (if you are lucky enough to have one) Otherwise CAREFULLY brûlée under a hot grill/ broiler. Just for 2 minutes or so until the sugar colors. Don't leave unsupervised or you can curdle your creme brûlée and it will be liquid.
  13. For the additonal flavors you can add Chocolate in the bottom of your dish, raspberries and dissolved instant coffee. When adding coffee, taste to make sure it is strong enough.

 

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Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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66 Comments

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  1. Padmini on September 30, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I was wondering is it possible to use this custard as the custard for when making a fruit tart?
    Thanks,
    Padmini

    • Gemma Stafford on September 30, 2019 at 1:34 pm

      The custard in the tart is more firm compared to a crem brulee, which is a custard with a simply melted/browned sugar crust on top. A tart has a pastry on the bottom, filled with custard, topped with with a crust of melted sugar. The latter can hold better with a topping of fruits.

  2. Alma Ramirez on August 23, 2019 at 5:00 pm

    Hi:

    Is there such thing as a creme brulee with creme fraiche? If yes, is there a recipe for it?

    Thank you.

    • Gemma Stafford on August 25, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Creme fraiche is like a double creme. I suppose it’s almost the same, but you can expect that it won’t be exactly the same. This is made with fresh dairy cream. This is cream, which is a natural part of cow’s milk. It is a fresh product, the full fat version of which is known as Double cream and is 35% – 49.4% (Heavy) fat content.

  3. Delia on May 5, 2019 at 11:47 pm

    Can I use whole milk. or do I have to use cream?

    • Gemma Stafford on May 6, 2019 at 4:24 am

      Hi Delia,
      this is burnt Cream’ it is the nature of it. What you are describing is a Creme Caramel, a different thing, not impossible but a different recipe.
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Rafferty Erik Sy on March 3, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    I was wondering, for this recipe, can it be streamed rather than baked in an oven? As I don’t have a baking oven at home. I want to try this recipe too.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 5, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Hi, yes but then you will not create the crust on top.

  5. Kiran on November 21, 2018 at 2:21 am

    Hi,
    Thx for sharing the amazing recipe… can v use half cream n hlf milk?
    N what if one doesnt hv a gas torch????

    • Gemma Stafford on November 21, 2018 at 10:29 am

      Hi Kiran,
      Yes, it will be a lighter thing, but you can use 1/2 and 1/2 for this custard.
      If you do not have a torch, but do have a broiler/grill, then flash it under this. really heat it up, then watch it! You then need to be careful as the plates and custard will have heated through.
      My mum uses a gas torch, like a painter might use! looks dangerous, but it works!
      I hope this works well for you,
      Gemma 🙂

  6. Seline on October 6, 2018 at 1:16 am

    Hey Gemma, I tried to make this and it turns out runny. I even bake it longer, about over an hour. Do you know what’s wrong and how to fix it? Thanks

    • Gemma Stafford on October 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      Hi Seline,

      That is really strange. Did it ever set? Can you double check that your quantiles were right because an extra hour in the oven would have definitely make them set.

      Gemma.

      • Seline on October 8, 2018 at 7:26 pm

        I ended up steaming it for about 15 minutes and it turned out good. It’s just a little too sweet for my taste.

        • Gemma Stafford on October 9, 2018 at 1:27 am

          Hi Seline,
          Great, well done you. Next time you can adjust the sugar to your own taste.
          Thank you for being in touch,
          Gemma 🙂

  7. Hbockweg on August 18, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    How can u keep the topping of caramel hard? I put mine in the refrigerator before guests arrived & it went soft….is it possible or does the sugar topping have to be done at the last minute?

    • Kevin Kurtz on August 19, 2018 at 11:35 am

      I recommend doing the sugar topping and torching right before you serve. 🙂

  8. Janieri on August 17, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    You are my favorite ⭐️! I became allergic to dairy a while ago, ugh. Is there any way that you can make this with full fat coconut milk/cream???

    • Gemma Stafford on August 17, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Hello, that’s a great idea, yes 🙂

  9. Kanda on June 10, 2018 at 8:51 am

    What kind of cream? 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream

    • Gemma Stafford on June 11, 2018 at 2:26 am

      Hi Kanda,
      Generally heavy cream for this dessert. howver, it is set by the egg and so is effectively a custard. 1/2 and 1/2 will work well too,
      Gemma 🙂

  10. Rabiya J. on May 22, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Turned out good! Tried them without blow torch. Taste was perfect but I caramalised the brown sugar with back of hot spoon so it came out okayish. I guess the professional outcome will get from Gas torch only.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 23, 2018 at 1:02 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, the naked flame is what works really well. My mum uses one from the hardware store! it works well too. I am glad you got some kind of a result though, it is a lovely thing.
      Thank you for being in touch,
      Gemma 🙂

  11. Jane @ Newport Butane on May 11, 2018 at 2:56 am

    Wow! I adore creme brûlée but cannot remember the last time I ate it. Thanks for a great recipe. Jane.

    • Gemma Stafford on May 11, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Good! Jane this is a delight! I am not sure why, it seems it is everyones favorite dessert,
      Gemma 😉

  12. Siddiqua qazi on May 1, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Hi Gemma i don’t have vanilla bean as it’s difficult to get in India. Can i put vanilla extract and how much. Thanks plz do reply

    • Gemma Stafford on May 1, 2018 at 4:43 am

      hi there,
      Sure you can, a teaspoon of extract will be good, but add to your taste,
      Gemma 🙂

  13. Alka on April 17, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Hey Gemma , I don’t have a blow torch with me so any substitute for that ?

    • Gemma Stafford on April 17, 2018 at 7:27 am

      Hi there,
      A blow torch does the best job for this. The broiler/grill works reasonably well, but it also re-heats the custard, and this is not the best thing.
      No easy solution here! You can caramelize the sugar in a pot and pour this over the set custard, it is not ideal, but it is a solution of sorts.
      Gemma 🙂

      • Francoise Johansson on April 1, 2019 at 3:53 am

        To avoid to re-heat the custard under the grill, put it in a bain-marie with ice cubes

        • Gemma Stafford on April 1, 2019 at 9:51 am

          Oh, ill have to try that 😀

    • Sasu on April 21, 2018 at 12:32 am

      Hi there!

      Actually you can use a heated spoon for this task! You can read my comment right down there for more info 🙂

      Sasu

      • Gemma Stafford on April 21, 2018 at 3:14 am

        Thank you Sasu, I always forget about this method, I think the sugar needs to be caster/fine granulated for this to work well.
        Gemma 🙂

  14. Anoushka on April 14, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Gemma!

    I am such a huge fan of yours. I just wanted to tell you that I have made this recipe many times but I replace the cream with coconut cream and it turns out perfectly! Please make some more gluten free desserts. Thank you so much!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 14, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      I’m really thrilled to hear that! Glad you are apart of the community 🙂

      Gemma.

  15. Henk on April 12, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Dear Gemma,

    Thank you so much for all the time you put into to perfect all your recipes, I really am one of your biggest fans!!

    You are always my go-to-guide whenever I need a recipe.

    I just have a question, I have made this recipe twice already, but my custard always comes out soft, even after double baking time, I could never understand why, but now I see that the ingredients calls for 3 Cups of Cream, but in brackets it says 500ml’s, I always used the cup measurement but maybe that is why the custard stays soft because it is supposed to be 500ml instead of 3 cups?

    Would love to hear back from you!

    Thank you!

    • Gemma Stafford on April 12, 2018 at 4:38 am

      hi there Henk,
      I have to apologize, you are right! I just edited the recipe to read 2 cups. 1 cup would be a little shy of 240ml, so two very full cups should be about 500g, though you can weight this if you have a digital scales. Thank you for pointing this out, I am sorry it went on so long in this incorrect way.
      Gemma 🙂

  16. Sasu on March 19, 2018 at 10:02 am

    A great trick for anyone who does not own a blowtorch! I have tried this method and it works really well!

    What you have to do is just heating a spoon (use a leftover spoon!) until it’s VERY, VERY hot, then press it all over the surface (be careful or you might burn the sugar!)

    The result would be a fantastically caramelized sugar surface on your Creme Brûlée!

    I hope this helps some people in the BBB community!

    Sasu

    • Gemma Stafford on March 19, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Wow! I am really happy to hear this tip! I truly never thought of that, but I can see how it would work. Thank you Sasu, I am delighted to get this great suggestion,
      Gemma 🙂

      • Sasu on March 20, 2018 at 8:46 am

        Happy to help!

        • wendytanchua on April 3, 2018 at 8:01 pm

          Lucky to read this comment as I am planning to make Brulee without blowtorch.
          Hope I can be successful with your tip, Sasu!

          • Gemma Stafford on April 3, 2018 at 9:33 pm

            Good Luck!!!!!

            Gemma 🙂

          • Sasu on April 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

            Hope it helps you as much as it helped me!

            Sasu

  17. Shama on March 14, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Gemma,

    Can we use a regular non stick baking loaf pan instead of ramekins. I need to travel with my dessert.

    • Gemma Stafford on March 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Hi Shama,
      I have never seen this presented in a loaf pan. usually it is a single serve shallow bake. You could use a flan dish, but I am not sure that this will be ideal for travel, unless it is not too far!
      Gemma 🙂

  18. Mona on January 15, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Hi
    Substitute for eggs plz

    • Gemma Stafford on January 16, 2018 at 2:57 am

      Hi Mona,
      This is an egg custard, there really is no substitute for eggs, it will be a different thing.
      You can set a cream, with arrowroot or cornstarch, but that will not be the same thing. You would use about 1/3 cup of cornstarch, to 2 1/2 cups of milk or cream, and 2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla to taste, or whatever you like as a flavoring. This will form into a type of custard, which you can brulee!
      You could try a small amount and see what you make of it,
      Gemma 😉

  19. Sasu on January 9, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Hi Gemma!

    I’m just wondering if Creme Brûlée has a no-bake version, since many people aren’t that patient about waiting for it to finish getting baked. Do you think it’s possible?

    Thanks!
    Sasu

    • Gemma Stafford on January 9, 2018 at 9:08 am

      hi there,
      Actually yes!
      The problem is that this is an egg custard. If you over heat it it will be scrambled egg. Lots of restaurants make this stove top, add a layer of sugar, and use a gas torch to caramelize the sugars to a crisp crust. It is an OK way to do it, but I prefer the real thing!
      Gemma 🙂

  20. Elizabeth Rivera on February 15, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    OMG . I didn’t notice the measurement of the cream. Maybe that is the reason why my custard is too soft ‘coz I put 3 cups of cream. ?

    • Gemma Stafford on February 16, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Hi there,
      Yes, it is important to get the proportions right in a recipe, it is all about balance really!
      Gemma 🙂

    • Benazir on June 17, 2017 at 3:10 am

      Fresh cream or whipping cream or cream

      • Gemma Stafford on June 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

        Hi there,
        This is made with fresh dairy cream. .This is cream, which is a natural part of cow’s milk. It is a fresh product, the full fat version of which is known as Double cream and is 35% – 49.4% (Heavy) fat content. This is the one which will whip up really quickly and hold its’ shape. It must be kept cold, it will spoil in a day or so if stored at room temperature. For this recipe a cream from 25% fat content – 35% fat content will be sufficient. The egg does the work here, it really is a very rich egg custard,
        Gemma 🙂

  21. Kryztel on December 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Gemma! do you know how to make a creme brulee without baking? can you show me how? and also the instructions because I’m planning to make creme brulee for the holidays.

    • Gemma Stafford on December 16, 2016 at 3:17 am

      Hi krystal,
      Well! this is a question of how you accept it. I prefer this to be baked, but you can make it as you would a custard, on the stove top, then sprinkle it with the sugar and grill/broil it to crisp the caramel. This will be a soft, less firm result, but delicious too. All custard type resices need to be handled really carefully, a double boiler is best. (bowl over simmering water).
      Gemma 🙂

      • Kryztel on January 1, 2017 at 3:20 am

        would it work if I steam it?

        • Gemma Stafford on January 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

          Ah! yes, but cautiously! I have never steamed a custard, and that is what this is really, so time will be important.
          Gemma 🙂

  22. Estefania on June 18, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Gemma! I am making this desert tomorrow for fathers day and could you please tell me what would be the baking time if I make in 1 cup ramekins? Thx in advance?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 19, 2016 at 3:20 am

      Hi Estefania,
      I would bake these in a bain marie, or water bath. This is my Mums method!
      Method
      1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Sit four 175ml/6fl.oz ramekins in a deep roasting tin at least 7.5cm/3in deep (or a large deep cake tin), one that will enable a baking tray to sit well above the ramekins when laid across the top of the tin. Pour the two cartons of cream into a medium pan with the milk. Lay the vanilla pod on a board and slice it lengthways through the middle with a sharp knife to split it in two. Use the tip of the knife to scrape out all the tiny seeds into the cream mixture. Drop the vanilla pod in as well, and set aside.
      2. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 minute with an electric hand-whisk until paler in colour and a bit fluffy. (This step can be omitted) or Whisk the yolks by hand until well mixed. Put the pan with the cream on a medium heat and bring almost to the boil. As soon as you see bubbles appear round the edge, take the pan off the heat.
      3. Pour the hot cream into the beaten egg yolks, stirring with a wire whisk as you do so, and scraping out the seeds from the pan. Set a fine sieve over a large wide jug or bowl and pour the hot mixture through to strain it, encouraging any stray vanilla seeds through at the end. Using a big spoon, scoop off all the pale foam that is sitting on top of the liquid (this will be several spoonfuls) and discard. Give the mixture a stir.
      4. Pour in enough hot water (from the tap is fine) into the roasting tin to come about 1.5cm/ 5/8 inch up the sides of the ramekins. Pour the hot cream into the ramekins so you fill them right up to the top (its easier to spoon in the last little bit). Put them in the oven and lay a baking sheet over the top of the tin so it sits well above the ramekins and completely covers them, but not the whole tin, leaving a small gap at one side to allow air to circulate. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the mixture is softly set. To check, gently sway the roasting tin and if the creme brulées are ready they will wobble a bit like jelly in the middle. Don’t let them get too firm.
      5. Lift the ramekins out of the roasting tin with oven gloves and set them on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes only, then put in the fridge to cool completely. This can be done overnight without affecting the texture.
      6. When ready to serve, wipe round the top edge of the dishes, sprinkle 11 teaspoons of caster sugar over each ramekin and spread it out with the back of a spoon completely. Spray with a little water using a fine spray (the sort you buy in a craft shop) to just dampen the sugar, then use a blow torch to caramelize it. Hold the flame just above the sugar and keep moving it round and round until caramelized. Serve when the brulée is firm, or within an hour.
      This works for her!
      Gemma 🙂

  23. Joe on July 11, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Hello Gemma, great looking website. Cannot wait to try out some of these recipes.
    I have a question about your creme brûlée recipe.
    It says 3 cups of cream then in brackets has (500ml) which would be two cups.
    Which is it? I cannot wait to try this!

    Thank You

    • Gemma Stafford on July 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Joe,
      Sorry for my late reply. It is 2 cups, you are correct. Thanks for letting me know, I’ll change it now. Good luck with your brûlées 🙂

  24. Filomena on June 5, 2015 at 9:05 am

    can i use milk rather than cream?

    • Gemma Stafford on June 6, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      you can it just won be as rich and might take a little longer to cook. If you can add some cream so it has nice richness

  25. loss diet on May 29, 2015 at 11:21 am

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    • Gemma Stafford on May 30, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      I appreciate your note. Thank you for watching!

  26. Mayra on May 14, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Oh this is so nice! I will try this recipe soon for my mom. Your page looks lovely! Great job!

    • Gemma Stafford on May 14, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Thank you for your note! I just love this Creme Brûlée recipe and how many different flavors you can make. I hope you enjoy!

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