Crème brûlée for 2 is the perfect make-ahead dessert for a date night! You can bake the custard for up to 3 days in advance and caramelize the top just before serving. Crèmes brûlées are super duper creamy, and actually softer than custard. The vanilla shines through beautifully in each spoonful and what about the top! The crispy, bittersweet, caramel layer on top of crème brûlées really set them apart from other custard desserts.
SIMPLER THAN IT LOOKS
I used to think I could never make a crème brûlée as creamy and silky smooth as the store-bought ones so I never tried. I could have never been more wrong. Homemade crème brûlée is just as creamy and it has a richer depth of flavor. Instead of being just sweet, you can taste the richness of the cream and stronger hints of vanilla. Homemade custard tastes way better but what is more, making crème brûlée for 2 is actually pretty easy! The prep does not take long as it’s basically a matter of mixing a few ingredients, sieving the mixture and pouring it in ramekins. Sure it takes 1h or so to bake and you’ll need to chill the crèmes brûlées for a few hours. But the actual ‘hands-on’ time required by this recipe is pretty short (about 15 min).
KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR CRÈMES
Making the custard for crème brûlée for 2 is really easy but the key is not to overbake it. Mastering the baking of custards can take a couple of tries because the eggs in the custard can easily overcook. Every oven is different so don’t stray too far from the kitchen while the crèmes brûlées bake and make sure their centers stay wobbly. If the eggs overcook the custard will curdle. If that happens; your crèmes brûlées will still taste great but they definitely won’t have the right consistency. That’s why it’s preferable to bake custards at a low temperature even if slow-baking takes time, it can prevent the crèmes brûlées from curdling. Be patient and don’t increase the temperature! As I said every oven is different so you might need to bake your custard for longer, so check often after 1 hour has passed. You want set edges, but a wobbly center and the tip of a knife inserted into the center should not come out clean.
CARAMELIZE JUST BEFORE SERVING
It’s important not to caramelize the top of your crèmes brûlées in advance. The moisture in the fridge would melt the sugar and you would end up with a soggy topping. A far cry from the crispy caramelized crust that crèmes brûlées dreams are made of. You should definitely wait a few minutes after melting the sugar on top of the crèmes brûlées before serving them. Waiting a bit will allow the melted sugar to harden and form a crispy crust. There’s no greater pleasure than shattering this crust with the back of a spoon in one fell swoop! Don’t worry the caramelized sugar will still be warm while the custard will be cold so you’ll enjoy the different hot & cold aspects of this traditional French dessert.
When it comes to making crème brûlée for 2, I don’t think you can beat vanilla but you can flavor your custard however you prefer. Making a crème brûlée custard is kind of like making an ice cream custard (actually it’s easier because you don’t have to cook it on the stove). So you can follow the same recipe but flavor the cream differently. Some people use teabags, extracts, cocoa powder, alcohols, honey, coffee, or any sort of nut butter. Be adventurous and have fun! Keep in mind that you’ll have to add more or less sugar according to the bitterness of your chosen flavor.
GO-TO CHILDHOOD DESSERT
Crème brûlée is one of my favorite childhood desserts and I can’t believe it took me this long to learn how to make it! There are so many things to love about a good crème brûlée: the silky smooth custard, the bursting flavor of vanilla and of course the sugar crust that breaks into dozens of delicious caramel shards. As a child I would always order if it was on the menu, to my dad’s great displeasure. He would always go on and on about crèmes brûlées being the go-to frozen desserts that restaurants would buy from the supermarket and then sell to customers for 8€. ‘It’s never made in-house, only suckers would order a crème brûlée, blablabla’. His arguments never swayed me and I was always ended up happily enjoying my dessert. Now I can totally understand his frustration, especially since I found out how simple it is to make crèmes brûlées from scratch! I would probably never order one out again unless I was sure it was homemade.
Are you looking for other vanilla desserts? Here are some of my favorites:Print
Crème brûlée for 2 is the perfect make-ahead dessert! You can bake the custard in advance and torch the top just before serving. The creamy custards are silky smooth, burst with vanilla flavor and are topped with sugar crusts that’ll break into dozens of delicious caramel shards.
- 300g heavy cream (1 ¼ cup)
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- 4 egg yolks
- 65g light brown sugar (⅓ cup), plus 2 tbsp for the top
- pinch of salt
- Infuse the cream. Pour the cream into a small saucepan and stir in the vanilla seeds. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat, then take the saucepan off the heat. Cover and let the vanilla seeds infuse for 45 min. It’s also important for the cream to cool down, you don’t want the egg yolks to scramble when you’ll mix them together in the next step.
- Make the custard. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl for 3 min. Gradually whisk in the cream. Set a mesh strainer on top of a separate bowl and strain the vanilla mixture.
- Bake the crèmes brûlées. Preheat the oven to 100°C (210°F)*. Place 2 ramekins** on a baking sheet and fill the ramekins almost to the brim. Bake in the center of the oven for 55 min to 1h. Gently tap on the side of one of the ramekins with a wooden spoon. The edges of the crème brûlée should be set but its center should still be pretty wobbly. The tip of a knife inserted into the center should come out with small streaks of cream. Every oven is different so the crèmes brûlées might need to bake a bit longer. Check every 5 min or so past the 1h mark (the tops shouldn’t brown). Don’t be tempted to increase the temperature or the eggs might curdle, which would ruin the consistency.
- Chill. Set the ramekins on a wire rack and wait for the ramekins to cool down to room temperature. As the crèmes brûlées cool, the center will sink slightly. Then place them in the fridge for 3h min before serving.
- Caramelize. Wait until you are about to serve the crèmes brûlées to caramelize them if you want the caramel layer to remain hard. Plus feeling the hot & cold difference is part of the charm of eating a crème brûlée. Sprinkle a thin layer of light brown sugar over the crèmes brûlées and slightly shake the ramekins to spread the sugar evenly. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar by moving the torch in a circular pattern. Wait for a few minutes before eating so that the caramel will have time to harden slightly and form a crust. I don’t recommend using an oven’s broiler to toast the sugar because it takes longer and might overbake the crèmes. It would be a pity not to have a silky smooth custard under the crust.
* 80°C (175°F) if you use a convection oven
**my ramekins are 11cm (4⅓ in) wide and 3cm (1 in) deep. If your ramekins are narrower and deeper your crèmes brûlées might need longer to bake.
- Serving Size: 1 crème brûlée
- Calories: 787
Keywords: vanilla custard, french dessert