Ginger Crème Brûlée

Small kitchen torches are great to use for caramelizing sugar for crème brûlées. But if you don't have one, you can still easily produce a melted-sugar topper. Caramelized sugar creates a hard, candylike layer over the custard. The contrast of textures is wonderful.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Bake Time:
35 mins
Chill Time:
2 hrs
Stand Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 ½ cup half-and-half or light cream

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 2 inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

  • 4 egg yolks

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

  • 4 teaspoon sugar or Caramelized Topper*

  • Finely snipped crystallized ginger

Caramelized Topper

  • 2 tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In a medium saucepan combine half-and-half, the 1/4 cup sugar, and the fresh ginger. Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 10 minutes (reduce heat as necessary to prevent boiling). Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Strain and discard fresh ginger.

  2. Place four 5- or 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups in an 8x8x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually whisk in warm half-and-half mixture. Divide egg mixture among ramekins. Set baking pan on oven rack. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to reach halfway up sides of ramekins.

  3. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or just until custards are set in centers. Remove custards from the water; cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.

  4. To serve, let custards stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle tops of custards with the 4 teaspoons sugar. Using a small handheld kitchen torch, slowly and evenly melt the sugar. (Or quickly drizzle Caramelized Topper over custards. Let stand for a few minutes or until set.) Sprinkle with crystallized ginger. Serve immediately.

Caramelized Topper

  1. In an 8-inch skillet cook sugar over medium-high heat until sugar starts to melt, shaking skillet occasionally. Do not stir. When sugar starts to melt, reduce heat to low and cook about 5 minutes or until all of the sugar is melted, stirring as needed with a wooden spoon. Immediately drizzle over custards.


If you don't have a kitchen torch, prepare the Caramelized Topper instead.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

240 Calories
15g Fat
20g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 240
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 246mg 82%
Sodium 44mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 20g 7%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 5g
Potassium 133mg 3%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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