How to make crème brûlée

Crack through the burnt toffee to the creamy custard underneath!

  • 1 hr cooking + refrigeration time
  • Serves 6
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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.


  • 1 litre (4 cups) cream
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar, extra
  • orange segments, for serving


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 120°C (100°C fan-forced).
  • 2
    Combine the cream, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until just below a simmer; remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
  • 3
    Place egg yolks in large bowl; gently whisk in cream mixture, trying not to create too many air bubbles. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug.
  • 4
    Place 6 x 300ml capacity shallow dishes into a large baking dish lined with a tea towel on the base (you may need to cook in 2 medium baking dishes). Half fill the dishes with the cream mixture. Place the baking dish into the oven; finish filling the dishes with the cream mixture. Pour hot water into the baking dish to come half way up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 40 minutes or until set with a slight wobble.
  • 5
    Remove the brûlées from the baking dish and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  • 6
    Just before serving, sprinkle 1½ tablespoons of sugar over the surface of each brûlée. Using a blowtorch, heat until the sugar is evenly golden brown.


This dish is a perfect make-ahead dessert.

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