Creamy & rich butterscotch custard topped with caramelized sugar makes this Butterscotch Crème Brulee an irresistable dessert that's perfect for a dinner party or date night in!
Crème Brulee is one of those desserts that can seem very intimidating to the average home cook. Just the name makes it sound like something you just get at a fancy restaurant. I'm here to show you that making Crème Brulee is attainable for any level of cook. Let me show you!
Ingredients for Butterscotch Crème Brulee
There are 3 separate components to this Butterscotch Crème Brulee:
- Butterscotch sauce - made using butter, brown sugar, cream, vanilla & a pinch of salt
- Custard - made with egg yolks and more cream
- Sugar topping - a mixture of brown and white sugar that will be torched to form a delicious sugar shell on top of each ramekin
Butterscotch vs. Caramel
Butterscotch and caramel are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference in how they're made. Both are technically cooked sugar, but butterscotch is made with brown sugar while caramel is made with white sugar. The result is a sauce that tends to be slightly richer and darker color than caramel. This Butterscotch Crème Brulee starts off by making your own butterscotch sauce to add to the custard.
How to Make Butterscotch Creme Brulee
To start the butterscotch sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the brown sugar, salt and cream. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and cook 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk egg whites until pale yellow and add a cup of cream. To combine the butterscotch sauce and custard without scrambling the eggs, add about ⅓ of a cup of the butterscotch sauce to the egg custard. This is called tempering and ensures the eggs "get used" to the warm sauce and doesn't scramble them.
Once you have tempered the custard you can add the rest of the butterscotch sauce and whisk well. Divide the mixture between 4 ramekins, filling them about ⅔ full.
Place ramekins in a large baking dish. Pour hot water around the ramekins and fill about ⅔ up the ramekins. This will allow the custard to cook evenly and prevent it cracking on top.
Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes until the middle of the custard is just a bit jiggly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
How to Serve Butterscotch Crème Brulee
Before serving the Butterscotch Crème Brulee, you need to make the sugar topping that will be caramelized making the most delicious crunchy, sugary shell on top of the custard. Mix 4 teaspoons of white sugar with 4 teaspoons of brown sugar. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons over each of the ramekins.
Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar topping until melted and golden brown. If you don't have a kitchen torch, you can also caramelize the topping by broiling them in the oven. Set ramekins in an empty baking dish and place in the middle rack of the oven. Broil 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Watch closely! The topping can go from perfect to burnt in seconds!
Enjoy this Butterscotch Crème Brulee on it's own or with a dollop with whipped cream on top. Whether you are having a dinner party or a date night at home, this dessert will help make your evening extra special.
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Butterscotch Crème Brulee
- 4 tbsp. butter salted
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 tsp. white sugar
- 4 tsp. light brown sugar
- In small saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar, salt and cream. Bring to boil and cook 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In medium bowl, beat egg yolks until pale yellow. Add the heavy cream.
- Temper the egg yolks by adding ⅓ cup of egg custard to the butterscotch sauce and whisk. Then add the rest of the butterscotch sauce. Mix well and pour into 4 ramekins, about ⅔ full.
- Place ramekins in large baking dish with sides. Pour hot water around ramekins about ⅔ up the sides.
- Bake 35-40 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Serving the Creme Brulee
- Mix topping ingredients together. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons over each ramekin.
- Using a kitchen torch over the sugar topping, caramelize until golden brown.
- Broiling in oven could also be done instead of a kitchen torch. Set oven to broil and place ramekins on empty baking dish on middle oven rack. Broil 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Watch closely!