Crème brûlées are often perceived as difficult to make, requiring some kind of special technique, skill, or a lot of practice to get them right. They are actually one of the easier desserts to make! And as long as you have a kitchen torch, you can achieve that beautiful sugary glass top that cracks perfectly when you are ready to eat it. But don’t worry, you can still achieve a nice caramelized surface without a torch as well. A classic dessert that will impress your guests, but won’t leave you exhausted, this Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée recipe is delicious and easy!
Do I really need a kitchen torch?
Not really, although you will get a much better effect if you do. The other method of getting a caramelized sugar layer on top is to broil the crème brûlées for 2-5 minutes. This can result in an uneven caramelization, and using a kitchen torch is much easier and more efficient. And who doesn’t want to own a kitchen torch, right?? Here is a good option for a Kitchen Torch from Sur la Table (PS, it is on SALE!). Click the images below for a few other options that are highly rated on Amazon.
What type of sugar is best for Crème Brûlées?
You can use regular white granulated sugar, but superfine sugar will often result in a better brûléed surface. You can also experiment with brown sugar to determine which taste profile you prefer. Using sugar that is too course may result in a surface that is too thick with some places that are not fully caramelized. If you can’t find superfine sugar, you can make your own by putting sugar in a food processor or spice grinder and pulse several times.
Do make sure whatever sugar you use that you use enough sugar so that you do not heat the custard itself. A crème brûlée should have a nice solid caramelized surface but the custard should be chilled.
We hope you enjoy this recipe, and if you give it a try please leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.