Since 1998

Crème brûlée

This French classic has long passed onto Australian menus in designated restaurants.
Mistakenly called a ’brûlée’, because English places names after adjectives, it should be called in fact ’crème’, which is the name.
Time needed 20’ preparation, 1 h 30 baking, 1 hour cooling down, 10’ presentation.


  • 2 egg-yolks
  • 25 g caster sugar (white)
  • 20 g brown sugar (thin)
  • 5 cl milk (1/5 cup, whole milk)
  • 15 cl sour cream (3/5 cup, aka crème fraîche)


Combine the yolks and the white sugar. In the mean time, bring to a boil the milk and the sour cream blended together. Pour the boiling blend onto the sweetened yolks while mixing. Place into two shallow rectangular individual dishes (see picture), called ’eggs dishes’, and place them onto a bain-marie1

1"A bain-marie is the French term for a dish that?s surrounded by a water bath and baked in the oven or on the gas (my preferred method). There?s no special equipment to buy: A cake pan or sauce pan filled with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking dish does the trick nicely.

The trick with the crême brûlée is that the egg proteins would bake and not just coagulate if the temperature was more than 90°C (194°F), in that case, you’d miss your crème.   If you decide to place your bain-marie in the oven, you should either set the temperature as low as you can, and/or let the door slightly open.   Or a crust could form on the top of the cream, and in that case you would miss the cream.

I found it handy to place the egg dish on top of a bake pan filled up with simmering water.
This said, a modern electric oven set at 110°C (230°F) should perform the trick (I did it!).
Bake for one hour, and allow cooling down at least 1h30 before placing it to the fridge for at least another hour.

Before you serve

Sprinkle with brown sugar, et place the cream in the grill for a few minutes, or better: a gas torch, to obtain that nice caramelised crust.
Serve immediately.
Feel free to add a flavour to your cream, such as vanilla, chocolate, malt, etc . . .
created 01 May 2004
revised 13 February 2017 by
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