Sunday, February 7, 2016

Crème Brûlée

This recipe appeared in the February 4th Edition of The Hinton Voice as the Cooking With Jax monthly cooking column. 

[This summer when my husband and I were in Whiterock, BC, we stayed in an adorable, vintage 1920’s style beach house that we found on Airbnb.  With an ocean view, and just down the street from an array of unique eateries, it was like a little slice of paradise.  At one of the restaurants along the beach we decided to split dessert – which happened to be the most perfectly cooked crème brûlée
either of us had ever eaten.  Every bite had a smooth, creamy texture, sprinkled with real vanilla beans and a crispy glaze of caramelized sugar on top.

Once we had finished, we both shared a look of regret for not ordering our own (and 2 more on top of that).   We were only in town for that night though, so when we left Whiterock, we also left a piece of our souls with a renewed love for all that is crème brûlée.

I came across some really nice vanilla beans recently, and the second I opened them the memory of this recipe came to mind.   I set out to attempt to perfect the recipe, making it a total of 4 times in the same number of weeks.  After becoming some of my friend’s favorite person ever (and maybe not so much to those who are just reading this now), I think it’s safe to say this recipe is just like the one we had overlooking the ocean on that beautiful summer’s day.]

Recipe makes 6 servings

- 1 L whipping cream
- 7 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 vanilla bean

- 2 round cake pans
- 6 oven proof 7 oz ramekins
- kitchen torch


Pour cream into a medium saucepan.  Cut vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds – place seeds and pod into the cream.   Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.   As soon as the cream starts to boil, cover and remove from heat.  Allow cream to sit for 15 minutes.  Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard.

In a medium bowl, whisk ½ cup sugar and egg yolks until the mixture just starts to lighten in colour.  Add cream, very slowly, being sure to stir quickly.  Pour evenly into ramekins.  Divide the ramekins and place in cake pans.  Pour boiling water into the pan to come about half way up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake in a pre-heated, 325 degree oven for 1 hour.  You’ll know the crème brûlée is ready if you nudge it slightly and it jiggles like Jello (vs moving like a wave).  You want to be very careful not to overcook it.  The crème brûlée shouldn’t puff up, nor brown.

 Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring to the fridge.  Allow to set in fridge for 2+ hours (overnight for optimal results).

Remove crème brûlée from fridge and allow to rest on counter for 15-20 minutes.

Divide remaining ½ cup sugar among the ramekins (about 1-1.5 tbsp each) being careful to spread evenly on top.

Using a torch, melt the sugar to form a crispy caramelized crust, starting on the outer edge and working your way to the center.  Be sure to move quickly to ensure you don’t burn the crust.

Allow crème brûlée to sit for a few more minutes before serving (the crust will harden as it sits).



  1. I haven't had creme brulee in ages, and now I've got a wicked bad craving for it... yours sounds absolutely perfect, between the richness of 7 (!!!) egg yolks and the dark caramelized topping. Might just have to put this on the menu for Valentine's Day, since it also happens to be one of my husband's very favourite desserts.

    1. My husband too - he definitely didn't mind all of the taste testing that went on for this recipe! ;)


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