Crème Brulee

Whether you are preparing a romantic dinner for two, or want a show-stopping dessert for a dinner party, this recipe ticks all the boxes!

I was astonished to find that the recipe originated from my hometown of Aberdeen, Scotland.  Of course the English claim credit and call it “Cambridge Burnt Cream” - not an appetizing-sounding dessert at all.  The Scots and the French were firm allies for years so whether it actually was a French recipe or not will probably never be known.

In any event, it is remarkably simple to prepare but it does require a kitchen torch to achieve the proper crisp caramel topping.  It can be made the day before and stored, covered with plastic wrap.  An hour or two before serving, remove the plastic wrap and gently blot any moisture that may have gathered on top with a paper towel.  Apply the topping and refrigerate until serving.

Ingredients for 2 servings

1 cup of heavy cream, scalded
¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
¼ cup Demerara sugar for topping

  • Preheat oven to 325º.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until combined.
  • Gradually add scalded milk, whisking continually
  • Add salt and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  • Strain through a fine sieve into a Pyrex jug.
  • Pour gently into two ramekins.
  • Prick any bubbles with a tooth pick.
  • Place in a baking dish and fill half-way up with hot water.
  • Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until just set.
  • Remove from water bath and place on a cooling rack.
  • Refrigerate, covered lightly with plastic wrap.
  • Apply a light coating of Demerara sugar and torch.  Repeat.


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