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Vanilla Frangelico Crème Brulée

If you have never had the pleasure of tasting vanilla and Frangelico together, jump at the chance to make this Crème Brulée recipe! You might recognize this flavor combination from my Chocolate Bavarian Cream Domes recipe. The flavors complement each other so incredibly well and really shine through by way of a luscious, creamy custard.

Did you ever wonder why vanilla extract can be found in almost every baking recipe? It generally serves as a supporting role and helps to bring other flavors forward without asserting its own. With such basic ingredients, Crème Brulée is one of the few desserts that really allows vanilla to be the star. in this recipe, the Frangelico is playing the supporting role. You’ve never tasted vanilla like this before! In this recipe, crème anglaise is baked in a bath of hot water to create a silky custard. This recipe does take several hours to fully set, but active baking time is minimal. It’s amazing how easily this Crème Brulée comes together!

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Equipment needed for Crème Brulée:

  • 4 Ramekins with 1 cup capacity
  • Butane torch – For crème brulée, a butane torch is a must. I do not recommend any shortcuts around this since it will not yield the same result. For instance, the heat of a broiler can cause the crème brulée to lose its stability, and the ceramic ramekins may crack with an extreme temperature change. This recipe is so simple and delicious that you will make it repeatedly. Purchasing a butane torch is well worth it!

A few ingredient notes:

  • Vanilla beans – This recipe utilizes every vanilla flavoring possible… pure vanilla extract as well as two whole vanilla beans. Scrape the seeds out of the beans and add the pods into the heavy cream to simmer to extract even more flavor.
  • Tempering eggs – A good rule of thumb when working with two ingredients that are sensitive to extreme temperatures is to gradually introduce the ingredient that imposes the change in temperature to the ingredient affected by the temperature. I.E: Hot milk and eggs. Adding a small amount of hot milk to the egg mixture to partially warm it will allow the eggs tolerate the remaining hot milk. This will avoid curdling the eggs! Be sure to continuously whisk the ingredients to prevent the eggs from over-cooking!

Prepare in advance:

  • Set out 4 egg yolks from jumbo eggs (80 g) to bring to room temperature
  • Measure and set out all ingredients ahead of time.

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Vanilla Frangelico Crème Brulée


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  • Author: Amy @ The Pastry Blog
  • Total Time: 6 hours
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 480 ml heavy cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 80 g egg yolks (from 4 jumbo eggs)
  • 160 g granulated sugar, divided
    • 40 g for the egg yolks, 80 g for the Frangelico syrup, 40 g for sprinkling
  • 128 ml Frangelico liquor

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Set aside a baking pan or casserole dish and place (4) 1-cup capacity ramekins inside.
  3. On a cutting board using a sharp paring knife, cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise. Scrape the knife down the length of each half to remove the seeds. Set the vanilla seeds as well as the pods aside (don’t discard them!).
  4. In a large measuring cup, combine the heavy cream and vanilla extract and set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 40 g of the sugar until thick and pale colored. Thickening the egg yolks is an important step and will help the crème set, so be sure to whisk thoroughly!
  6. In a medium saucepan, heat the Frangelico liquor and 80 g of the sugar on medium-high heat until the sugar has fully dissolved it begins to simmer, about 3-4 minutes. If you want to minimize the taste of the alcohol, simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
  7. Keeping the heat on medium-high, add the heavy cream mixture as well as the vanilla seeds and vanilla pods until just boiling, about 10 minutes. Just before boiling, carefully remove the vanilla bean pods with a fork and discard.
  8. Slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously while pouring to temper the eggs. Transfer the mixture back into the large measuring cup.
  9. Whisking continuously in the measuring cup (to prevent the vanilla seeds from sinking to the bottom), divide the crème evenly into the 4 ramekins. The best way to do this is using a kitchen scale: you will pour 185 g of crème into each ramekin or fill each 3/4 full.
  10. Using a measuring cup, carefully pour hot water into the pan to surround the filled ramekins. This does not need to be boiling water, just the hottest water from the kitchen sink. Add enough water to reach half the height of the ramekins.
  11. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour until partially set. At this stage, the crème will still jiggle!
  12. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to let cool, still in the water bath, for 30 minutes.
  13. Remove the ramekins from the water bath and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours, but ideally for 4 hours.
  14. Prior to serving, sprinkle 10 g (about 2 tsp) of sugar into each individual ramekin. Using a butane torch, caramelize the sugar topping. Chill the crème brulée in the refrigerator for 5 minutes until cool, then serve!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cooling/Settting: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

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