How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Crème brûlée is an elegant French dessert with a creamy, often vanilla-flavored base and a crunchy, caramelized sugar topping.

Once you’ve got the crème part down, it’s time for the brûlée—which means “burnt” in French. You’ll be using a butane culinary torch. Familiarize yourself with how your particular model works and be sure to follow the safety instructions. You’re playing with real fire here!

Bring Crème Brûlées to Room Temperature

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Your completed custards should have chilled for at least four hours, but overnight is best. About 20 minutes before you want to caramelize them, take them out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature.

Sprinkle Crème Brûlées with Sugar

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

If any moisture condensation has formed on the top, gently dab it away with a paper towel, being careful not to dent the custard.

Sprinkle with granulated white sugar. Be generous—you'll pour off the excess in a moment. Cover the whole surface and swirl the ramekins to distribute the sugar evenly.

Remove Excess Sugar

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

After coating the top of the custard with sugar, pour off the excess. If you’re making more than one crème brûlée, dump the excess sugar into the next custard and repeat. Add new sugar with a spoon as needed until all the crème brûlées are coated but there are no loose granules remaining.

Fire up the Torch

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Now the fun starts: It's time to use your torch! They all work differently, so follow the instructions for lighting your torch carefully and adjust the length of the flame to medium.

Lightly Torch the Sugar

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Hold the torch a good distance away from the crème brûlée and slowly move it closer while rotating the flame. Keep the flame constantly in motion to keep from burning one area. Once it gets close enough, you'll see the sugar start to liquefy and form little droplets on the surface.

Keep the Flame Moving

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

As you continue cooking the sugar, you'll see little wisps of smoke puff up as the sugar begins to turn caramel-colored. You'll also smell the delicious aroma of cooked sugar, kind of like cotton candy.

Keep the flame moving so that it isn't focused on any one spot for too long. Pull the torch away if the sugar smokes excessively. Be sure to get the sugar along the edges of the ramekin as well as in the middle.

Form a Glaze

You'll be seeing a nice, caramel-colored glaze form on top of the crème brûlée. It's a bit tricky knowing exactly when to stop, but it's better to stop too soon than too late. If necessary, you can always fill in any underdone spots in a minute, once the sugar cools down a bit.

The Finished Crème Brûlée

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

When you're finished you'll have a hard, glass-like glaze of caramelized sugar on top. Pop the crème brûlées back into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so before serving them, just to re-chill the custard after it's been heated by the torch.

You can serve the crème brûlées just as they are and they'll be absolutely delicious. A few fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar is also a nice, elegant touch.

While we use the finest kitchen torches to make our sugar sizzle and get that hard candy shell that everyone loves on their creme brulee, it often doesn’t make sense for the home cook to have this type of equipment unless you’re confident in your love for the candy covered custard that is creme brulee.

But don’t worry, you probably have the perfect tool in your own home already — your oven! As long as you take the proper precautions (hot things are dangerous and hurt! remember how much pain you were in after you didn’t listen to your parents), the results from the home oven broiler can be an exceptional creme brulee. We even do it at our homes when we don’t have the torches handy.

So here’s how you do it:

DO NOT USE A TOASTER OVER. The space is too small so the heat goes every where and you end up with a disappointing candy shell and warm soupy custard.

THE CONTAINER WILL BE HOT. If you have one of our take away aluminum ramekins, heat transfers very quickly. That means it will get very hot very quickly. The good news is that it also gets very cool very quickly. So use oven mitts or anything else to keep your skin safe when taking it out of the heat. The aluminum will cool quickly and you should be able to handle with your hands after a few moments out of the heat. The ceramic ramekins are slower to transfer hear so will depend on how long you leave them in the oven. They will also take longer to cool down. Please be careful and use common sense. Remember, creme brulee = fun, burns = no fun.

Now, set your oven on broil and give it a few minutes to warm up. It works best if you wait until it’s at it’s hottest before putting the creme brulee in the oven.

How to Brulee Creme Brulee In A Home Oven Broiler Text only Instructions
(scroll down for instructions with pictures):

1. Remove the lid or cover from your creme brulee.

2. Sprinkle white sugar over the top of your C’EST BRULEE crème brulee, making sure to completely cover the top of the custard.

3. Rotating or gently shaking the ramekin from side to side will help make an even layer of sugar. The more sugar you use, the longer it will take to brulee and result in a thicker bruleed candy coating.

4. Place the sugared-coated creme brulee ramekin on a cookie sheet or pan on a rack so that it’s about two inches below the heating element (gas flame, electric element, etc). Be careful not to touch the heat source with your hand. And leave the oven or broiler door open while bruleeing the sugar.

5. Carefully watch the brulee, when the sugar starts to bubble and turn brown the sugar is caramelized and ready to remove. This step may take 2-5 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven, electric or flame, and distance the brulee is from the heat. The degree of brulee is a personal preference, some people like a thin light brown candy shell and others like a dark brown to black burnt sugar taste. Simply leave your creme brulee in for the desired amount of time. Remember, though, no do-overs, so it’s best to pull it out a little before it’s just right to your taste than wait too long and have the sugar more burnt than you would like.

5a. If bruleeing more than one creme brulee at once, you may have to shift them around the oven or remove some before the others based on hotspots in your oven.

6. After removing from the oven, allow your creme brulee to cool for a minute or two to allow the sugar to harden and avoid burning yourself.

7. Now, grab a spoon, give that candy shell it’s first tap, and dig in to enjoy the incredible textures and tastes of your freshly bruleed creme brulee!

How to Brulee Creme Brulee In A Home Oven Broiler Instructions With Pictures :

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 1. Uncover your creme brulee How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 2. Place white sugar on top, the more sugar, the thicker the shell and longer to brulee
How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 3. Distribute the sugar evenly by rotating or lightly shaking the creme brulee How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 4. Carefully place the ramekin in the over about two inches away from the broiler heating element
How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 5. Let the flame work it’s magic with your hands out of the way. How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 6. Keep the oven door open while you brulee, you want the heat to focus just on the top and not heat the entire oven.
How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 7. Keep a close eye on the creme brulee, once it starts to brown to your taste, carefully remove it from the oven. Remember, it will be hot! If bruleeing more than one creme brulee at once, you may have to shift them around the oven or remove some before the others based on hotspots in your oven. How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 8. Immediately out of the oven you may notice some unevenness in the brulee.
How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 9. But the brulee continues for a few moments when out of the oven so it’s important to pull it out a little earlier than your desired level of darkness How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee 10. Once cooled to the touch, usually only a minute or so, enjoy your freshly bruleed C’EST BRULEE creme brulee!

CRÈME BRULÉE, that silken buttercup-yellow custard topped with crunchy dark brown teeth-sticking caramel, has a mystique to it, one that enables some restaurants to charge $12 for 50 cents' worth of ingredients.

The mystique involves that miraculous topping — just sugar that has been scorched, really — and how it is achieved. Because chefs use small propane torches for this, many home cooks assume that these devices are needed to make that wonderful caramel.

Recently, a reader challenged me to make crème brulée without a torch. This kept me eating the custard for breakfast more days in a row than I would care to count. But, as is often the case, the solution was simple.

I realized that there were only two logical possibilities. One involves making the caramel separately and pouring it over the top of the custard. The results are good, but this technique ignores an important fact: ''brulée'' means ''burnt,'' not browned. It is important that some of the topping blacken so it tastes like campfire-roasted marshmallows.

The second solution is in many cookbooks: top the custard with sugar and throw it in the broiler. But that instruction doesn't go far enough.

You need intense heat to burn the sugar, but you do not want to expose the custard — already thoroughly cooked — to any more heat than necessary. That would curdle the eggs, resulting in a noncreamy crème brulée.

The solution is a stone-cold broiler, with the tops of the ramekins right under the heating element: two inches away is good. Once the broiler is on, keep the door ajar so the compartment stays relatively cool, and keep a close watch.

After a few minutes the sugar topping will begin to bubble. A minute or so later, it will brown. If the browning is uneven, rotate the ramekins. At that point, the custards are done.

The topping will stay crunchy for about an hour, and will still be delicious after two, so you can make this dessert before dinner. But if you enjoy the contrast between cool custard and hot topping, serve the crème brulée about 10 minutes after broiling it.

A word about the composition of the custard. I am still not sure what base I like best. Heavy cream produces that rich, luxurious custard that you get in the best restaurants. But half-and-half yields a smooth, light custard that I grew to enjoy, and which did not make me feel as if I had eaten quite so much. The choice is yours.

One last note: when baking the custard, a water bath is worthwhile. It makes the cooking more gentle and even. And, though it is hard to convince a novice cook of this, the custards are done when still quite jiggly in the center.

I have no doubt that the first time you make the custards you will, like everyone else, overcook them. But when the sides are set and the center is looking a bit underdone, they are ready.


Time: About an hour, plus time to cool

2 cups heavy or light cream, or half-and-half

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar, more for topping.

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cream and vanilla bean 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 about 30 minutes, or until centers are barely set. Cool. Ramekins can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for 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.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme bruleeBen Fink


  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 10 egg yolks
  • Pinch salt

For the caramel topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 580
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 450
  • Fat (g): 50
  • Saturated Fat (g): 30
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 430
  • Sodium (mg): 90
  • Carbohydrates (g): 29
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 6


The basic method:

Heat the oven to 325°F. Heat the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat until scalded (you’ll see small bubbles on the sides of the pan). Split the vanilla bean in half, if using, and scrape the seeds into the cream. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, slowly whisk the sugar into the egg yolks. Slowly whisk the hot cream/milk into the sugar/yolk mixture. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a pitcher or measuring cup. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract, if using.

Arrange eight 6-oz. ramekins in a baking dish with deep sides. Pour the custard into the ramekins, fill the baking dish with water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins and cover the dish with foil. Bake until just set, 25 to 50 minutes. Be sure to start checking early; baking time will depend on the thickness and depth of your ramekins and baking dish. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and let the ramekins cool in the water bath. Remove, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Follow the instructions below for making the crackly topping.

Two ways to make a crackly caramel topping for crème brûlée:

  • The blowtorch method — By far the easiest method of caramelizing sugar on a crème brûlée is with a propane blowtorch. Blowtorches are sold in most hardware stores, with good ones going for around $30. (Williams-Sonoma ( also carries a mini-torch for about $30; to order, call 800/541-2233.) I highly recommend buying one with an automatic ignition, which allows you to light the torch with the press of a button — no matches needed.
  • Sift a thin, even layer of sugar over the refrigerated custards, ignite the torch, and with a slow, sweeping motion, guide the flame directly on the surface of the custard. The nozzle should be 2 to 3 inches from the surface, with the tip of the flame licking the sugar. The sugar will melt slowly at first and then caramelize. As soon as the entire surface is glossy brown, move on to the next custard.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee
The easiest method of caramelizing sugar on a crème brûlée is with a propane blowtorch.

  • The broiler method — This method is only successful with a very hot broiler in a gas oven (electric ovens don’t seem to provide heat high enough to caramelize the sugar). Line a baking dish with a towel to keep the baked custards from sliding around and arrange them on top. Fill the spaces between the ramekins with ice and add water so that they’re surrounded by ice water. This will keep them cold and creamy while their tops are being caramelized.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee
Fill the spaces between the ramekins with ice and add water so that they’re surrounded by ice water. This will keep them cold and creamy while their tops are being caramelized.


Espresso Crème Brûlée: Omit the vanilla. Crush 1/2 cup espresso beans into coarse pieces, add to the cream, and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat; infuse for 5 min. Strain and proceed.

Ginger Crème Brûlée: Omit the vanilla. Cut a 3-inch piece of fresh ginger into very thin slices, add to the cream, and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat; infuse for 15 to 20 min. Strain, bring back to a simmer, and proceed.

If you are looking for a classic, phenomenon, and easy to bake dessert, crème brulee is the best one out there. You will surely fall in love with the crisp and caramelized top under the vanilla-scented custard. For ages, it has been an emblem of valentine. So, why not bake it at home? Making a custard in a cup is pretty simple, but that caramel of sugar-coated on top of custard is where the art lies. The easiest way is to use a torch. However, in case you do not have one, how can you torch crème brulee without a torch?

Ways to Torch Crème Brulee without a Torch

If you fell utterly addictive to crème brulee, maybe eating it in a restaurant, you should try making it at home. Every recipe will recommend you to use a torch to make it. But, no need to worry in case you have no butane torch to caramelize the sugar.

To torch a crème brulee you do not need any blowtorch or strong baking skills. Torching crème brulee without a torch is every bit possible and requires only a few preparations beforehand.

There are several ways you can make a crème brulee at home, and you will not need a torch. The most practical method is to broil the dessert. Additionally, you can also use a spoon to caramelize the sugar. Finally, the most surprising way is to use a candle or grill lighter to torch crème brulee.

Using the Broiler to Torch Crème Brulee

Broiling the crème brulee is a convenient approach in torching the sugar on top. All you need for this is an oven with broiler mode, and you are good to go.

To make the custard first, you will need egg yolks, granulated sugar, whipped cream, vanilla extract, and a bit salt. Before initiating the baking process, preheat the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the oven is preheating, you will need to whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a bowl. You will know the batter is ready when it has a creamy texture with lemon color. Next, add the whipped cream, vanilla, and salt until it is smooth and combined.

After that, pout the whole batter in a ramekin filling a quarter of it. Now, place a baking pan inside the preheated oven filling it with water, but not completely. Next, place the ramekin on the baking pan and start the baking. It will take about an hour to complete, while you check it every 5 minutes after the 40-minute mark.

Once the custard has been baked, set it in a refrigerator or cool environment for about an hour. After the custard has been completely set, you are now ready to torch it in the oven. First, set the oven in broiling mode. Again place the ramekin on a baking pan, this time without any water. Just before you put the baking pan inside the oven, sprinkle some sugar on top. Now let the baked custard broil in oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. After hearing the ting sound of the oven, you will see the sugar has turned into brown, crispy, and caramelly crust.

Using Spoon to Torch Crème Brulee

You can also use a spoon to create the crisp on top of the crème brulee. This may look surprising, but it is quite popular and gets the job done.

You will need the same ingredients to make the custard. These are egg yolks, sugar, whipped cream, vanilla beans or extracts, and a bit salt. Additionally, you can use mascarpone as well.

At first, split the vanilla beans with a knife vertically and place them with whipped cream on a saucepan. Boil the mixture in medium heat for a few minutes and then set aside.

Now, take a bowl and whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the batter is smooth, creamy and lemony in color. You can add some cream here as well. After that, pour all the mixture on the saucepan and keep on whisking slowly.

Now you can add the mascarpone and remove the vanilla beans. Let them settle for an hour on their own while the oven is being preheated at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, pour the mixture in a ramekin and place the ramekin inside the oven on a baking pan half-filled with water. Bake it for an hour, by repeating the previous procedure. Thus, the custard is ready.

After removing the custard, cool it down by keeping it in the refrigerator for an hour. Following this, you are now ready to make the caramelized topping. Sprinkle some sugar on top of the custard. Take a spoon that is not so favored by you and hold it on stove flame until it looks red. Remove the spoon from the stove and immediately place it on top of the crème brulee to burn the sugar on top of it. After a few moments, the top layer is crisp and caramelized, just like you desired it to be.

Using Candle or Grill Lighter

While this may be quite surprising and unexpected, using a candle or lighter to torch crème brulee is quite effective.

You may not have an oven to prepare your custard, but you can definitely make it on the stove. You can make custard with the same ingredient and almost the same process as mentioned above, only instead of using an oven, you can use a pressure cooker. If you do not have a blowtorch or do not want to use a spoon, you can easily use other fire resources.

What you need to do is, light the sugar on fire with the lighter immediately after sprinkling sugar on top of the custard. However, there are some setbacks. The process takes a lot of time, and you will have to wait forever for a small amount of sugar to melt. So, this may be a good option when the sprinkled sugar has a thin layer, and the surface area is small. You would also need a pretty powerful lighter.


Having the best caramel topping on the crème brulee is imperative as it carries the most impressive experience of the dessert. Although using a blowtorch would be the best option, these 3 methods are very effective and save a lot of trouble. The primary purpose is to let the sugar caramel set on top of the custard. So, you can choose any method to torch the crème brulee without a torch to create the crisp, brown, and caramelly topping.

I’m a 20-something stay-at-home mother and wife. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful daughter, two loving dogs, and a lazy cat. I wouldn’t change my life for anything! I love to read, listen to music, cook and blog!

Growing up, my favorite dessert to order at a restaurant was creme brulee. Who could resist shattering that burnt sugar topping just to find creamy custard underneath? I certainly couldn’t.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Creme Brulee in Paris

When I visited Paris for the first time, I told my best friend that we were going to have to go somewhere to eat this famous dessert. I mean, I can’t go to Paris and not eat creme brulee, right?

My best friend knew just the place. We visited a quaint bistro on the corner of Rue du Cherche-Midi and shared a big ramekin of creme brulee between the two of us.

It was absolutely perfect. Better than perfect. The custard layer was silky smooth, without a trace of scrambled egg.

The topping was burnt to perfection, producing a crisp shatter when poked at with my spoon. As I sat there licking my spoon in pure delight, I thought to myself that Paris suited me very well.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Making Creme Brulee At Home

Alas, reality swooped in and I had to come back home where perfect creme brulee was hard to come by. Instead, I decided to give it a try at home for another chance to have my senses enveloped by fragrant vanilla and sugar.

Making creme brulee at home is less intimidating than you might think. If you’ve made your own custard or pastry cream before, then you know the importance of tempering your eggs and whisking vigorously.

The batter is poured into individual ramekins, which are then placed in a bain-marie (a water bath) and baked at a low temperature for about 1 hour. The batter will look slightly set when it’s done, but should still have a good tremble when it’s given a shake.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Using the Broiler

Traditionally, the custard is cooled then covered in a sprinkling of sugar before it’s torched. A torch is handy in giving the creme brulee that burnt topping without really heating the rest of the previously chilled creme.

But there’s a workaround if you don’t have a torch. After cooling the custard and sprinkling sugar on top, you can simply place the ramekins directly under your oven broiler, and carefully watch the sugar burn and form that glorious topping.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Creme brulee is a wonderful dessert for a dinner party, as you can make it ahead (minus the last minute sugar topping). You could also cut this recipe in half and make it for you and your special someone for a birthday, anniversary, or Valentine’s Day. Nothing says I love you like a ramekin full of creme brulee.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

A cracked crust is the best kind for a creme brûlée

That luscious dessert of just-set custard, with a wonderful chapeau (topping) of crackable caramel.

According to Wikipedia, Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top of the creme brûlée just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler / salamander or with a blow torch.

So fair enough you can make the caramel separately but would you want to do that? And if so, do tell why. For I think it is so much trouble to do. Hence my ‘other’ option.

Use a spoon! Yes, a spoon. A heated spoon.

Technique: A large cooking spoon is heated on the stove top/flame. This is pressed down on the ‘sugar-top’ of a cold, set custard to create a crust that can be cracked with a spoon, to reveal creamy custard underneath.

Application: Creme Brûlée! The iconic dessert.

Results: A well-defined, ‘breakable’ caramel top which is exactly how you want your Creme Brûlée

Level: Easy

Why I like it: If you don’t have a functional broiler in your oven, or a blowtorch, this dessert is still accomplishable!

A few weeks ago, on the Food52 Hotline, I asked a question, desperate to buy a blow torch to make creme brûlée. The question was ‘How to get a blowtorch across continents? I’ve decided to get a blow torch when I’m in the US in the summer. How can I get it home with me to Nigeria. Anyone travelled on an airplane with one? or cargoed it? Help!’

The responses over a few days brought me lots of laughter and finally a solution to my brûlée dilemma.

A dilemma I was in because of a delicious lemongrass creme brûlée I had in Edinburgh at my sisters spring wedding.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Dessert deliciousness

Served with a whiskey granite, summer berries and a mixed sesame seed snap, it brought joy and freshness to the palate and plate.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Totally cleaned ramekin!

With a towering pot of lemongrass gracing my front yard, I felt the custard was no big deal. The crackling top of burnt sugar would be the real challenge.

So on to the hotline it was. I got varied advice from using plumbing blowtorches meant for welding copper pipes to being careful to avoid trouble by going against safety regulations. We had a plumber from Frankston plumber agency come in to fix a few of our sinks because the water pressure was to high and we almost had him try to use his blowtorch.

But one tip held promise and that came from Cris aka Mensaque, from Brazil.

She wrote ‘Here’s another idea for you…….on how to brûler your crème: spread the sugar over the custard,take a big metal spoon or a spatula,heat it on your stove burner and and press it on the sugar till brown. Works like a charm!’

I was thrilled. There was the possibility of success and sooner than I hoped!

Cris writes more: “Hey, KB. How kind of you to send me a message…thank you. I’m glad I could help. I’m from Brazil, and over here (at least in my hometown) it is almost impossible to find a good blowtorch small enough to be considered practical in the kitchen, so I feel your pain, hahaha!

I learned the “hot spoon technique” from a chef (can’t remember his name) on a culinary TV show in Brazil and it works very well,vlike your photos prove. All the best,
Cris. (aka mensaque)”

I wasted no time in whipping up a custard and trying out the heated spoon method which worked to the book. And letter.

Cris and I, bound by history, culture, place….and the inability to find blowtorches have conquered the brûlée and so can you!


(This assumes already made ‘custards’, which have been chilled for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator)

Remove custards in ramekins from the refrigerator.

Dab the tops with a paper towel to remove any water or condensed liquid.

Evenly sprinkle caster sugar over the top of each custard – I used 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of sugar for a normal-sized ramekin.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Heat up a large cooking spoon, being careful to protect your hand from a handle that could get hot. I held mine with a kitchen pad, though it didn’t get extraordinarily hot. BE CAREFUL.

I used a ladle – as I have 2 ladles, I have decided to dedicate one to a life of caramel, knowing the bottom may be darkened forever.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Place the heated spoon over the sugared top of custard and listen for the sizzle, smell the caramel and watch burnt sugar being made….right before your eyes!

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

A work of art! And it only takes a few seconds for the magic to happen!!

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

You can repeat if not all parts have been heated.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Truth is, you will be rewarded with an impressive, restaurant-style brûlée! Made in your kitchen……without fire and brimstone! And yes, with blackened spoon in tow.

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Get stuck in. Crack that crust. Thank me, thank Mensaque. Enjoy yourself!

How to make a sugar topping for a creme brulee

Now to perfect that custard! Coming soon to a screen near you!

Have you ever come across this idea? Do you have other top tips for creating a brûlée?

This is a very nice dessert to serve when entertaining. Delicious served over mangos sprinkled with rum, or strawberries with Grand Marnier® or Cointreau®.


Recipe Summary test


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Step 1

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons white sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.

Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.

Pour cream mixture into the top pan of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to broil.

In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar. Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until custard is set again.