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Creme Brulee - A quick, simple recipe for a great holiday dessert

Updated on November 11, 2015
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A little about Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is a type of custard that is served in an individual dish with a hard carmelized covering. Part of the fun of Creme Brulee comes from the crispiness of the burnt top compared to the creaminess of the custard.

In the recipe below, I recommend adding cinnamon and coffee grinds. I have found that the best creme brulee that I have had always has these ingredients. There are many variations on how to make creme brulee and I have tried many different ingredients. You can experiment with these additions. Try making it without either the coffee or the cinnamon and then trying adding each. It all depends on your preference and your taste. If you are looking for a very classic creme brulee, do not use the cinnamon or coffee grinds, but if you prefer to add your own twist, these are two ingredients that I highly recommend.

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 40 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: Serves 5-6 people


  • 6 Egg Yolks
  • 2 2/3 cups Heavy Cream
  • 7 Tablespoons White Sugar, Divided
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coffee Grinds, (Optional - not necessary)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  1. Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees
  2. Combine vanilla extract, cinnamon, coffee grinds, egg yolks, and 4 Tablespoons white sugar into a bowl and beat until it is creamy and thick
  3. Pour heavy cream into a saucepan and heat on medium heat until it almost comes to a boil, being careful not to overheat it and stirring it frequently while heating - remove from heat immediately
  4. Pour a small amount of the heavy cream into the egg yolk mixture and whisk it briskly
  5. Then pour this cream/yolk mixture into the rest of the cream and whisk - there should be a lot of foam on top after this step.
  6. Skim off the foam on top with a strainer and throw it away.
  7. Pour the hot mixture into individual oven-safe serving dishes/ramekins and place them in a baking dish
  8. Pour hot water into the baking dish around the ramekins until the water comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins
  9. Place in oven and cook for about 15 to 30 minutes - you know that they are done when you can shake the ramekin and the brulee jiggles just slightly in the middle - it should not be liquid and should be a gelatin-like jiggle
  10. Remove from oven and let the brulee cool in the hot water baking dish for about 10-15 minutes, then remove and put the brulee in the refrigerator to cool. I sometimes place them in the freezer to cool faster, but do not leave them in the freezer longer than 20-30 minutes. If placed in the refrigerator, they should be left there for 1 hour.
  11. Just before serving the brulee, combine the remaining white sugar with the brown sugar in a small bowl. Then, sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of each brulee ramekin - there should be a full layer of sugar on the top of each one - then using a propane torch, heat the top of each brulee until the sugar mixture melts and carmelizes to a light golden brown. It should be hard to touch, like hard candy once it melts and cools. Alternatively, if you do not have a torch, you can place the brulees with the sugar mixture on top in the broiler at a heat of 300 degrees for about 5 minutes or until you see that the sugar has melted and is carmelized brown. After this step do not place the brulee back in the refrigerator, as the carmelized top with soften and that is not as pleasing as the crisp carmelized top.
  12. Serve immediately after the top has carmelized. This can be served with fruit, such as raspberries on top or you can use chocolate syrup or caramel. I actually prefer the brulee without anything on top, but often serve it with a side of fruit on a dish. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 Ramekin
Calories 560
Calories from Fat450
% Daily Value *
Fat 50 g77%
Saturated fat 24 g120%
Protein 6 g12%
Cholesterol 417 mg139%
Sodium 55 mg2%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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