Making Babish’s Crème Brûlée Recipe

Crème Brûlée is my all-time favourite dessert, I would quite happily eat it every day for the rest of my life. It’s creamy, vanilla-y, and the slight bitterness of the caramelised sugar prevents it from becoming overly sweet – in my eyes, it’s the perfect dessert.

When I got Babish’s first cookbook for Christmas a couple of years ago, his crème brûlée recipe was at the top of my list to try, but for some reason it took getting a blowtorch for Christmas this year for me to actually finally test it out (although I did end up using the slightly altered second recipe from his new book!). I’ve made it a couple times since then and I think I’ve really got the hang of it, so no better time to share the recipe with you, right?

I did tweak some parts of the recipe to make it work for what I had, so I’ll share all my tips and tricks along with the recipe. Without further ado, let’s get into cooking!

What you’ll need (serves 3-6):

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g or 2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 470ml or 2 cups double cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (alternatively, you can use 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 55g or 1/4 cup demerara sugar

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla paste/vanilla pod and seeds and bring to a bare simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously. Once the cream begins to simmer, remove from the heat and discard the vanilla pod if using.
  3. Pour the cream into a medium-sized jug (for ease of pouring later) and leave to cool for 15 minutes. During this time, prepare the egg yolks.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until pale in colour. Whisking continually, gradually pour half the hot cream into the eggs in a very slow stream to temper. Add the remaining cream all at once, and whisk until fully combined.
  5. Line a deep, rectangular baking dish with a clean kitchen towel. Place 6 5-ounce ramekins on the towel (I used three wider and shallower ramekins which took the entire mixture, so just use what you’ve got!). Fill each ramekin nearly to the brim with custard.
  6. Pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to reach two-thirds up the side of the of the ramekins, then carefully place the baking dish into the oven.
  7. Bake the crème brûlée for anywhere between 20-40 minutes, depending on the size of your ramekins – mine took just under 20 minutes, but deeper ramekins will take longer. The trick is to check the temperature of your custard, and remove from the oven when the temperature registers 80ºC/175ºF.
  8. Once cooked, carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and allow to cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour. Once cooled, cover with cling film and transfer to the fridge for a further 4 hours, until completely chilled.
  9. Sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of raw sugar (granulated works fine in a pinch) over the tops of each custard, using more or less depending on the size of your ramekin. Use enough sugar to give a light, even coating, and tap out any excess. Caramelise the sugar with a blow torch and serve immediately.

That’s all there is to it! This recipe takes a little time and patience, but boy is it worth it. This is now my go-to dessert for any special occasions because blow torched desserts are always show stoppers, plus this one can be made well in advance!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments what you think of this recipe if you try it out, and what you’d like to see me make next! See you next time,

A x

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