How to make crème brûlée

Crack through the burnt toffee to the creamy custard underneath!

  • 1 hr 45 mins cooking + overnight refrigeration
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Translated literally, "crème brûlée" simply means "burned cream". And while that might be technically what's happening, we can't help but think this humble dessert benefited greatly from having a name with a little French flair.


  • 3 cups (750mL) thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 100°C(do not use the fan-function in your oven). Place six ¾-cup (180ml) shallow ovenproof dishes dishes on an oven tray.
  • 2
    Place cream, vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan; bring almost to the boil. Whisk egg yolks and ¹⁄³ cup (75g) of the sugar in a medium bowl until combined. While whisking, gradually pour hot cream into egg mixture until combined. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a jug. Skim off any foam from the surface. Pour cream mixture into dishes.
  • 3
    Bake for 1 hour or until set around edges but the centre is still wobbly. Cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or until set.
  • 4
    Sprinkle remaining sugar evenly over the top of each brûlée. Using a kitchen blowtorch, heat the sugar until it melts and forms a golden caramel. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.


This dish is a perfect make-ahead dessert. You will need to start this recipe a day ahead.Cooking the crème brûlée at a lower temperature means that you don't need to put it in a water bath. If you don't have a kitchen blowtorch, place the dishes under a hot grill (broiler) until the sugar caramelises.

More From Women's Weekly Food