Since the 17th Century, Crème Brûlée was known by this name and literally means, “Burnt cream”. Although it is still made from the same recipe family as the Crème Caramel, the difference between the two custard base desserts is the topping. Caramel is served with caramel syrup and the Crème Brûlée recipe with a caramelised hard crust.
Here is the traditional French Crème Brûlée recipe I got to know when we were still foodie students. I’ve added some rose or orange flower water to the ingredients but this can be removed if you want to stay with the traditional recipe.There is also some tips to help you create the perfect Crème Brûlée.
Crème Brûlée recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes – 50 minutes
- 500ml Cream
- 200ml Milk
- 125g Castor sugar
- 1 Vanilla pod
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tbsp Orange flower water / rose water
- 50g Brown sugar / castor sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 120°C (250°F).Place the milk, cream and half the sugar in a saucepan with the vanilla pod. Bring just to a boil.
- Mix the sugar, egg yolks and egg white together in a mixing bowl. Strain the milk (to prevent the film from the milk to come into contact with the eggs). Pour the milk over the egg mixture, very slowly allowing it to emulsify with the eggs and to prevent them from curdling.
- Stir in the orange flower/rose water.
- Pour into 8 standard (125ml) size ramekins and place in a roasting tin filled halfway with hot water. Cook for 40 – 50 minutes, or until set in the centre (some ovens could take as long as 1 hour)
- Cool them at room temperature and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, sprinkle the tops with brown sugar / castor sugar and caramelise under a very hot grill or with a blowtorch.Serve immediately.
- The milk and cream should be prepared over medium heat to make sure that it does not overheat and burn. Should there be a layer of film over the milk, remove it first before adding to the eggs.
- Curdling of eggs will occur when the milk is too hot when poured over the egg mixture. Let it cool down a bit before pouring it slowly over the sugar and eggs. Keep stirring the mixture until all is mixed thoroughly.
- “Skim” the surface of the custard before placing it in the oven. (Scrape off all the foam or “pop” the tiny bubbles. The surface of the custard should be smooth.
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