Serves: 4
Active time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Freezing time: 20 minutes
Storage: Up to 3 days in the refrigerator

A classic brasserie dessert to make at home.


  • 1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream, 35% butterfat
  • 3 tbsp (1.75 oz./50 g) egg yolk (about 3 yolks)
  • 3 tbsp (1.5 oz./40 g) sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp (1 oz./25 g) powdered whole milk
  • Brown sugar, for the caramel crust

Special equipment

  • 4 × 4 ¾-in. (12-cm) ramekins
  • Kitchen torch


1Preheat the oven to 225°F (100°C/Gas mark ¼).

2Using the first four ingredients, prepare a custard by combining the milk with half the sugar in a saucepan. Scrape in the vanilla seeds, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil.

3Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy and slightly thickened. When the milk comes to a boil, pour a little into the yolk mixture, whisking until combined.

4Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir constantly with a spatula until the temperature of the custard reaches 180°F (83°C).

5Draw a line with your finger through the custard on the spatula and if the line stays visible the custard is ready. When the custard is cooked, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl.

6Stand the bowl of custard in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and water and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin forming on top, before using.

7Pour into the ramekins and bake for 50 minutes.

8Cool and then place the creams in the freezer for 20 minutes, so they are well chilled before caramelizing the tops. Sprinkle a layer of brown sugar on top of each cream.

9Caramelize the sugar with a kitchen torch.



White sugar can be used in place of brown to caramelize the tops of the creams.

After caramelizing, chill the creams in the refrigerator so the topping firms up and it becomes crisp, while the cream underneath stays cool and silky smooth.

From French Pâtisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts by FERRANDI Paris (Flammarion, 2017). Photography © Rina Nurra.


    • Hi Pat, that is a great question! 1 vanilla pod should work perfectly for this recipe depending on how strong you’d like the flavour. 🙂

    • 5 stars
      For sure! I would recommend adding a teaspoon of vanilla paste for that extra flavour. Let me know how it turns out 🙂


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