Vanilla Crème Brûlée

I like the butane torch. The recipe below doesn’t even require it. I include this recipe in this post as opposed to others that I have to example just how simple and easy making creme brûlée can be. If I can do it you can and I am holding a butane torch. I use the torch in my schooling to make the first round of the almost best dessert on the planet. I am using an iPhone to take a photo of the beautiful blue flame all the while making an attempt to brûlée properly. Brûlée means to burn or burned in French. Perhaps not meant to look or taste quite as brown as some of the ones in this post look. Or maybe. I am proud regardless. Broiling can be much safer and easier however. To some, this means less intimidating. If you do want the butane torch, you browse my Amazon list entitled Baking Appliances & Accessories. There you will find one for torching as well as ramekins, baking sheets and other goods that may be of use to you for this post or perhaps your other kitchen needs. The recipe is from the NY Times Cooking section and is by Mark Bittman. I promise, you will see how easy these little brûlées are to make. Torch or not. The flavor and overall taste does not suffer either way.


  • 2 cups heavy or light cream, or half-and-half
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar, more for topping


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cream, vanilla bean and salt and cook over low heat just until hot. Let sit for a few minutes, then discard vanilla bean. (If using vanilla extract, add it now.)
  2. In a bowl, beat yolks and sugar together until light. Stir about a quarter of the cream into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. Pour into four 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill dish with boiling water halfway up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until centers are barely set. Cool completely. Refrigerate for several hours and up to a couple of days.
  3. When ready to serve, top each custard with about a teaspoon of sugar in a thin layer. Place ramekins in a broiler 2 to 3 inches from heat source. Turn on broiler. Cook until sugar melts and browns or even blackens a bit, about 5 minutes. Serve within two hours.\

Until Next Time…