Crème Brûlée is a popular dessert that is often served in nice restaurants. While it seems difficult to make at home, I’m here to tell you- it’s not! It is time-consuming, but it is achievable to get that restaurant-quality (honestly, even better) creme brulee at home! This homemade creme brulee has a caramel, vanilla bean custard base with a perfect caramelized sugar crust on top that cracks with a tap of a spoon.
Taste: Buttery, caramel, and hints of vanilla
Texture: Creamy base with a sweet hardened sugar layer on top
Pros: Ridiculously delicious and perfect after any meal (or any time of day)
Cons: Takes a long time to chill and firm up.
IF YOU LIKE THIS VANILLA BEAN CARAMEL CREME BRULEE, TRY:
- heavy cream
- caramel sauce
- granulated sugar
- vanilla bean or extract
- 13×9 baking pan
How do I store the creme brulee in ramekins?
I store them in the refrigerator covered with foil and un-torched until I’m ready to eat or serve them. If they are torched and placed in the refrigerator for any amount of time, the topping will become liquid-y and it is nearly impossible to fix.
What is the difference between panna cotta and creme brulee?
Panna cotta is a gelatin-based cream dessert. Creme brulee is a custard-based dessert, which is made with eggs and cream. Therefore, the consistency and flavor are different in both however they are both delicious!
Can this recipe be gluten-free/vegan or can any of the ingredients be substituted for other dietary restrictions?
Unfortunately, it is not my specialty. However, there are many bloggers who specialize in gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, dairy-free, etc. desserts and I recommend giving them a try!
Vanilla Bean Caramel Crème Brûlée
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup caramel sauce jar or homemade
- 2 tbsp sugar plus more for topping
- 1 vanilla bean or 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- In a medium heat-proof mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, 1/4 cup of caramel sauce, and 2 tablespoons sugar until a pale yellow color is achieved.
- In a saucepan on medium-low heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer. Once it has reached a simmer, remove from heat, add salt, cut the vanilla bean vertically then scrape the vanilla bean into pan and stir. Remove about a ½ cup of the hot mixture and, in a slow stream, constantly whisk into the egg yolks so they don’t cook. Once the entire ½ cup of hot liquid has been transferred to the egg yolks, pour this mixture back into the warm cream and stir.
- Place 4 ramekins in a deep 13x9 baking pan. Using a large glass measuring cup, fill the pan with hot water until it reaches about halfway on the ramekins. Avoid getting water inside of the ramekins. Pour the custard mix evenly into all 4 ramekins. Carefully transfer the baking pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until it reads at least 170 F on a thermometer.
- Carefully remove the ramekins from the water bath and move them to a cooling rack to cool for about an hour. Place them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
- When getting ready to eat, sprinkle 1 tbsp of granulated sugar evenly on top and caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch. I would not recommend using a broiler to caramelize the sugar because it does cook the top layer which results in an eggy texture.