Easy Crème Brûlée for Two is an indulgent dessert, made of rich custard with caramelized sugar top layer. Sounds complicated? It’s not! It’s impressive but super simple to make! This is a classic recipe and is perfectly portioned for two servings; a lovely way to end a romantic meal!
With Valentine’s day coming up, I’m already thinking about what to plan for a romantic dinner with the hubs. Our tradition for the holiday is to stay home, avoiding the crazy packed restaurants and enjoying an extra special dinner that we prepare together. We don’t do gifts, we don’t rush…we simply enjoy our time and enjoy an amazing meal. It’s always wonderful.
I was dreaming up of all the desserts I could make to end our dinner. Given I’m still recovering from all the sweets over the holidays, I especially did not want any extras of anything lying around the house afterward. Hah!
That’s when Crème brûlée came to mind.
Crème Brûlée might be the PERFECT DESSERT.
That’s right. Coming from a girl who loves any and all desserts.
It is one of those treats that tantalizes every one of your senses- a rich, cool, creamy custard and a caramelized, candy-like layer on top. Crème Brûlée has the perfect balance of crunch to creamy. It’s served in an individualized little ramekin so you don’t have to share with anyone. It’s sweet, aromatic, and yes, the flavor options are ENDLESS. Banana, chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio, citrus, berry, pumpkin, lavender, white chocolate, chai latte…literally any flavor you can think of, will work with Crème Brûlée. And, when you make it yourself, it’s one of the few desserts where you get to play with fire.
With all that said, I truly feel that the best part about classic Crème Brûlée is its simplicity.
Ingredients you’ll need for Crème Brûlée:
Cream. Egg yolks. Sugar. Vanilla. Salt.
There’s really not much to it, and there’s something beautiful about that.
If you’re thinking, “Sure, the ingredient list is simple, but the steps from ingredients to delicious custard is complicated. It sounds too fancy. Fancy=hard.”
I promise you it is SUPER easy to make. All you have to do to master Crème Brûlée is to get yourself familiar with the process, and before I get into that, I’ve put together this lovely little video showing you how…also, my first recipe video YAY!!!
Making the Custard
First, know that this dessert needs chill time- about 3-4 hours in the fridge before serving. Also, be sure to not rush through this recipe. There are some steps that involve a little extra care. For example, after heating up the cream, you want to slowly add it to your eggs. If you add it too quickly, you risk scrambling your eggs. You want to continually stir quickly or whisk the eggs while you SLOWLY add the cream in a small, steady stream. If you have someone who can lend a hand in the kitchen, it does make it a little easier! Oh, by the way…. THIS IS THE HARDEST STEP, so once you get past this, you’re pretty much good to go!
Caramelizing the Sugar
Just before serving, sprinkle a layer of granulated sugar onto the top. Despite what you may read elsewhere, I promise you, granulated sugar will give you the perfect glass-like layer. I had initially tried a recipe that raved about using turbinado sugar and/or raw sugar. My advice: don’t do it. I tried…results below. The sugar granules are way too thick and I had burnt blotches everywhere. It was not pretty.
Using your kitchen torch, begin to slowly heat up the sugar layer. I think I found a good technique for this. You want the flame to be a few inches away and move your hand in circular motion, heating up the entire top. As the sugar begins to bubble, you can move the flame a little closer to get the sugar extra toasty. This process took longer than I thought it would, but by slowly heating up the sugar I found the crust to be more consistent and candy-like, which is what you want. You don’t want to cook the sugar too quickly, otherwise you’ll have some un-melted grainy spots.
There you have it!
I promise you this dessert will knock the socks off of your Valentine. Crème Brûlée is so impressive, easy to make with few, wholesome ingredients.
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 c heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Get yourself set up with a large bowl, spatula and a pot.
Crack the egg yolks into the large bowl. Gently mix the egg yolks.
In the pot, add the cream, sugar and salt. Heat on a low temp until simmering. While heating, stir frequently and do not let the cream come to a boil.
Once the cream starts to simmer, remove from heat- allow to cool for 5 minutes.
While whisking or stirring, slowly pour the hot cream into the egg yolks. Be careful to not pour the cream in too fast- you don't want to scramble your eggs, you want to temper them (if you have someone who can lend a hand in the kitchen, it does make it a little easier!)
Once all the cream has been incorporated, strain the mixture into a measuring cup with a spout using with a fine mesh strainer to get out any clumps that may have occurred (there shouldn't be much).
Place your ramekins on a deep tray. Pour the mixture into the ramekins.
Carefully bring the tray to the oven and place on the middle rack.
Pour hot water into the tray so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins, avoiding splashing any into your custard.
Bake until the custard sets (mine took about 35 minutes, yours may take more or less depending on the thickness of your ramekins!)
Allow to fully cool and then pop into the fridge.
Just before serving, sprinkle a layer of granulated sugar onto the top.
Using your kitchen torch, begin to heat up the sugar layer. Hold the flame a few inches away and move your hand in circular motion, heating up the entire top. As the sugar begins to bubble, you can move the flame a little closer to get the sugar extra toasty.