food

3-ingredient stay-home recipe: Insanely easy Crème Brûlée

Last Updated: June 6, 2021

Written by Wani

French cuisine is often associated with refined cooking/baking techniques and years of mastery to perfect. Well, I’ve stumbled upon a stupid-easy way to dig into a crackling portion of silky Crème Brûlée with this insanely uncomplicated recipe that only calls for three ingredients. That’s right—you read correct, only THREE INGREDIENTS. Forget the whisking of heavy cream and having to peruse the supermarket aisle for vanilla. This recipe is one you need to keep handy when you’re looking to impress guests or simply satisfy your own sweet tooth.

You don’t need to call upon your pastry chef alter ego to get this right. All you need are the microwave and oven as your assistants (a tiny bit of patience) and I can almost guarantee you already have these ingredients in your kitchen right now as you’re reading this. What are you waiting for?

Creme Brulee

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream (75 g)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Tools

  • Ramekin
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Microwaveable bowl
  • Whisk
  • Blow torch

Recipe preparation

Preparation time: 5 minutes; Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes (excluding 2 hours of refrigeration + 30 minutes of warming to room temperature)
Feeds 1

  • Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
  • Scoop the ice cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the ice cream for 30 to 40 seconds or until completely melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the egg yolk into the melted ice cream and whisk well.
  • Pour the mixture into a ramekin. Place the ramekin in a pan. Pour hot water into the pan to come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekin.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The crème brûlée should be set, but still a little jiggly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.
  • Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top.
  • Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of crème brûlée. Using a torch, melt the sugar for a crispy top. If you don’t have a torch, you can broil the crème brûlée to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don’t overcook it. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. You can also make various flavours by using different ice cream flavours. If you are using flavoured ice cream, use 1 egg instead of 1 yolk.

Recipe in photos

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 160˚C.

Placing vanilla ice cream in microwave

Step 2: Scoop the ice cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the ice cream for 30 to 40 seconds or until completely melted. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Separating egg yolk from egg white

Step 3: Add the egg yolk into the melted ice cream and whisk well.

Placing Creme Brulee in pan of water Placing Creme Brulee in oven

Step 4: Pour the mixture into a ramekin. Place the ramekin in a pan. Pour hot water into the pan to come roughly halfway up the sides of the ramekin.

Step 5: Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The crème brûlée should be set, but still a little jiggly in the middle. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.

Step 6: Remove the crème brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top.

Teaspoon of sugar Blow-torching creme brulee

Step 7: Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top of crème brûlée. Using a torch, melt the sugar for a crispy top. If you don’t have a torch, you can broil the crème brûlée to melt the sugar. Keep an eye on it, to make sure you don’t overcook it. Allow the crème brûlée to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. You can also make various flavours by using different ice cream flavours. If you are using flavoured ice cream, use 1 egg instead of 1 yolk.

A scoop of Creme Brulee

While the taste of the final Crème Brûlée product came out divine, the texture proved to be more pudding than jiggly and silky. If I were to re-attempt this recipe, I would turn down the temperature of the oven once I’ve put the Crème Brûlée in, because by then, my assumption is that the pre-heating might’ve made the oven a tad too hot. Also, I implore you to invest in good quality ice cream for this recipe, especially one that uses real vanilla beans.

This brand proved to be worth the extra few dollars and honestly, I can easily see myself baking a batch of these in advance for future dinners with friends at home. The prep is fuss-free and the fun part is in showing off your lit skills with a blowtorch.

Expected damage: S$3 – S$4 per portion (depending on brand of ice cream)

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