Creme Brulée

Creme Brulee

I received lots of lovely foodie related gifts for my birthday last week, but the cooks blow torch and 4 Portmerion creme brulée dishes were top of my list. I'd never attempted creme brulee's before, partly because I lacked the necessary blow torch (you wouldn't get the same effect under a grill) and partly because I 'thought' it was complicated. As it turns out it really wasn't.

On Saturday I set about making the creme brulée's and what I ended up with was one of the most wonderful creamy desserts I had ever tasted. Delicately flavoured with vanilla and with the all important crunchy sugar crust. The beauty with these is that you can make them (barring caramelising the crust) up to a day before and store them in the fridge until needed. When you're  ready to serve just pull out your blow torch to caramelise the sugary crust.

Now I've cracked Creme Brulée's I'm wondering what else I can use my blow torch for. Suggestions most welcome as I'm struggling for idea's - food related please!

Creme Brulée

A luxurious creamy dessert


  • 5 Egg Yolks (large)
  • 55g Caster Sugar
  • 426ml Double Cream
  • 100ml Full Cream Milk
  • 1 Vanilla Pod, halved and seeds scraped out
  • Extra Sugar for sprinkling on top


  • Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c/160fan.
  • Step 2: Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar for 1 minute with an electric whisk and set aside.
  • Step 3: Put the cream, milk and vanilla seeds into a pan and put on the hob over a medium heat. As soon as you see bubbles forming take the cream mixture off the heat.
  • Step 4: Set a sieve above the whisked egg yolks and sugar and pour the cream through it.
  • Step 5: There will be a layer of foam so use a large metal spoon to scoop it off.
  • Step 6: Pour the mixture into a large jug and set aside while you prepare the tin. Place 4 x 175ml ramekins in a large deep roasting tray and pour in hot water from the tap so it comes about 1cm up the outside of the ramekins.
  • Step 7: Fill the ramekins with the cream mixture then place a large baking sheet on top of the roasting tin, leaving a small gap at one end for the steam to escape.
  • Step 8: Cook in the oven for 20 minutes (or until slightly wobbly when you shake them - if you are using deeper ramekins it may take 30 minutes).
  • Step 9: Take ramekins out of tin and cool on a wire rack. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
  • Step 10: When ready to serve sprinkle a heaped TSP of caster sugar over each ramekin and spread out by tipping the ramekin in different directions. Run your hand under running water then flick droplets of water over the surface of each one....then it's time to caramelise with the blow torch, holding it just above the sugar layer.
  • Step 11: Serve within one hour to ensure your crust is still hard.


Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 4


  1. The cooking method you've followed is a little strange. The oven temperature is far too hot for a custard of this kind, making it necessary to employ the baking sheet and bain marie to prevent the top and sides from turning into scrambled egg. This convoluted method is one that is replicated to one degree or another in almost every brulee recipe in print. I'm puzzled as to why it persists.

    All you need to do is bring the cream to the boil, pour directly onto the yolk mixture, briefly whisk vigorously, pass through a fine sieve into a jug, skim the foam, pour into moulds and whack into a preheated 100C oven until set as you desire (45mins for me in a small 150ml ramekin, but longer if you wish). Be quick to avoid losing heat in the custard - maybe 30s from taking the cream off the heat to closing the oven door. Simples.

  2. I'll try your method next time and see if the results are as good. I read a lot of creme brulee recipes before making these and like you said they all seemed to use this method? Strange if your much quicker method works. Thanks Lester

  3. Your recipe has slightly different ratios than mine so may set differently. For the record, the quantities I use are: 450g double cream, 50g whole milk, 5 yolks, 75g sugar. This is Marco's recipe from Wild Food From Land and Sea. I look forward to seeing how you get on.

  4. They look delicious..Thanks for posting it dear..


  5. Well, I'm loving the look of this!

  6. Ooo lovely 'Ramekins' !! I'm bored with the traditional shaped ones, these look modern and pretty for the table! I knew I should have picked up some Jamie Oliver ones when they were on sale! Definitely on my shopping list next lol

  7. I love the ramekins...they are perfect for olives and other nibbles too