I Tried the 3-Ingredient Crème Brûlée, and Yes, It's as Easy (and Delicious) as It Sounds
Social media is at it again with an easy way to make this sugar-coated custard. No culinary torch required.
As we spend most of our days indoors, people are sharing hacks on social media like whipping coffee into cloud-like drinks, making an omelet in 14 seconds, or getting perfect curls without a curling iron. The latest trend taking over the internet allows you to master crème brûlée at home with just a few ingredients. And no, there's no requirement for a culinary torch to get that burned sugar coating. Whether it's crème brûlée, creamy flan, or a classic cheesecake, most custard-based recipes have the same base: cream, sugar, and eggs. Instead of buying and whipping up those ingredients separately, a TikTok video demonstrates how to use ice cream as one ingredient to replace them all. Utilizing ice cream as the shortcut ingredient in this 3-ingredient recipe is how you get get a quick-start on a deliciously creamy dessert.
Since so many are making the fancy burnt cream at home, I had to try this one out myself. I'll go ahead and tell you now the results are worth the effort. If you've ever been intimidated by the thought of making a crème brûlée from scratch, here's how to make the silky-smooth custard and feel like a fancy French chef right in your home.
How to Make 3-Ingredient Crème Brûlée
Any single flavor ice cream with cream, eggs, and sugar included within then first five ingredients should work for this easy recipe. I'd recommend avoiding an ice cream that has a lot of chunky ingredients. I went with the French vanilla I had in the freezer. This is the base recipe needed per serving, which fills one small ramekin or a custard dish. I made two, so I doubled the recipe.
- ½ cup ice cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Preheat your oven to 325ºF.
- In a microwave-safe glass measuring cup or bowl that's large enough to fit the number of servings you're making, melt your ice cream. Start with 30-seconds on high power, give it a stir, and give keep microwaving in 10- to 15-second intervals until completely melted. You don't want the liquid to boil, so let it cool if it seems too hot.
- Using a whisk or fork, gently combine the egg yolk into the ice cream mixture. If making more than one serving, add yolks one at a time.
- Pour your custard into ramekins. Place ramekins inside a baking pan and fill the pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the ramekin side. This water bath technique (aka bain-marie in French) allows the custard to cook evenly without any cracks and keeps the oven's air moist.
- Bake 40 to 50 minutes until the tops are lightly golden-brown.
- Allow the crème brûlée to cool to room temperature, cover in plastic wrap, and let them chill in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
- For the caramelized sugar topping, heat the sugar in a heavy 8-inch skillet over medium heat. The key here is to let the sugar sit in an even layer and DON'T touch it. Once the sugar is starting to melt, give it a stir with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. Pour an even amount onto the chilled custard and quickly use your hand to move the ramekin back and forth to coat the surface before it hardens.
Now it's time to enjoy it! I found the custard to be delightfully sweet and silky-smooth. A little bit of waiting time is required, but the process is simple and you definitely get that satisfying crack as your spoon breaks through that sugar topping. Keep the caramel love going by making some addicting popcorn or try your hand at another fancy dessert like a Pot de Crème, which is a custard similar to crème brûlée, just not as thick.