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May 31, 2023 5 min read


Creme brulee is a classic French dessert that many people around the world enjoy. One of the most common questions about this dessert is whether or not it should be served cold. In this blog post, we will explore the answer to this question, provide some tips on making the perfect creme brulee, and more.


What Is Creme Brulee?


3 creme brulee

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Creme brulee, also known as "burnt cream" in English, is a classic French dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is sometimes spelled as creme brûlée or crème brulee and is known for its rich custard base topped with a layer of caramelized sugar that creates a satisfying crackling texture when broken.

The dish is believed to have originated in the 17th century, during the reign of King Louis XIV. It was a favorite of the king and was often served at the palace. As the dish gained popularity, it began to be served in restaurants and cafes throughout France. Over time, the recipe for creme brulee evolved, and different flavors and ingredients were added to the custard base. Today, creme brulee can be found in many variations, with flavors such as chocolate, coffee, and fruit.


Is Creme Brulee Served Cold?


creme brulee

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The best way to serve crème brûlée is chilled, not cold. You can serve crème brûlée warm if you prefer to eat your desserts warm, but the sugar crust will not be as crisp and the custard will not be as firmly set

The contrast of the chilly, creamy custard and the warm, crunchy caramel is one of the things that makes this dessert so enjoyable. This contrast is lost if it is served warm.


What Temperature Is Crème Brûlée Served?


creme brulee

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For the best results, it's best to serve crème brûlée at a temperature slightly below room temperature. This allows for the proper application of heat to the sugar layer without harming the custard layer. If the custard is too warm, the delicate structure can be compromised. On the other hand, if the custard is too cold, there is a risk of creating a layer of condensation between the sugar and the custard, preventing proper caramelization and causing the sugar to adhere to the custard surface.


Tips for Making the Perfect Creme Brulee


Although creme brulee is a popular dessert, it can be tricky to make at home. Here are some tips for mastering the skill:


1) Use High-Quality Ingredients


ingredients of creme brulee

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The quality of the ingredients you use can greatly affect the final outcome of your creme brulee. Use fresh, high-quality cream, eggs, and vanilla extract for the best flavor and texture.


2) Use the Right Type of Cream



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Creme brulee is traditionally made with heavy cream, which has a higher fat content than other types of cream. This is important because the fat in the cream creates a richer and creamier texture. Avoid using half-and-half or milk as they will not give you the same results.


3) Be Careful with the Temperature


woman in apron holding the handle of the oven

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Creme brulee should be cooked at a low temperature, around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. A higher cooking temperature may cause the eggs to curdle, ruining the custard's texture. It's also important to use a water bath while cooking the creme brulee. This will help to cook the custard evenly.


4) Use a Kitchen Torch


using a kitchen torch to caramelize the creme brulee

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To get that perfect caramelized sugar on top of your creme brulee, use a kitchen torch. This will give you more control over the caramelization process and will produce a more consistent result. If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can use your oven's broiler.


5) Chill Properly


woman in checkered opens the fridge

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After cooking, it is important to chill the creme brulee in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. This will help to set the custard and will make it easier to crack the caramelized sugar.


6) Serve at the Right Temperature


creme brulee

Credit: Envato Elements/ keko64


As mentioned before, it is best to serve creme brulee slightly below room temperature. Remove the custard from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to develop and the texture to become smooth and creamy.


How to Make Creme Brulee


woman with a spoon of creme brulee

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Now that you know how to serve crème brûlée and the best practices to follow when making it, here is a basic recipe that you can try at home.




  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream



    1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. In a saucepan, heat the cream until it begins to steam.
    3. In a different bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until they become thick and pale.
    4. Slowly add the hot cream to the egg mixture while stirring it consistently.
    5. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
    6. Pour the mixture into ramekins and place them in a baking dish.
    7. Carefully pour boiling water into the baking dish, creating a water bath for the ramekins. The water should come about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
    8. Bake the custard for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it is set but still a little wobbly.
    9. Once the custard is set, take the ramekins out of the baking dish and place them in the refrigerator for at least two hours. (Do not freeze creme brulee)
    10. After 2 hours, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and let the crème brûlée sit out for 30 minutes.
    11. Next, evenly sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the baked and set custard.
    12. Melt the sugar with a kitchen torch until a golden crust develops. You can alternatively caramelize the sugar in your oven's broiler if you don't have a kitchen torch.
    13. Before serving, let the crème brûlée cool for a while.

      Additionally, you can also add some variations to your crème brûlée recipe by infusing some flavors to the custard base before baking. For example, you can infuse tea leaves, coffee grounds, or cinnamon sticks in the cream before heating it up. Also, you can top it with some berries, or chocolate shavings for some extra twist.




      There you have it. We hope that this blog was useful in providing you with all the information you needed to know about serving creme brulee.

      If you're looking to make creme brulee at home, Pepe Nero has got you covered with our creme brulee set. The set comes with a kitchen torch, a whisk, and measuring spoons. With high-quality materials and easy-to-follow instructions, our set is perfect for home chefs and aspiring pastry chefs. Get your creme brulee set from Pepe Nero today!

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