Sous Vide Salted Caramel Crème Brulee


Stephanie is a food writer, photographer, recipe tester & developer based in SF. She received her culinary arts training at the San Francisco Cooking School and is the creator of food blog, Lick My Spoon (a place for all things delicious). Her work has appeared in T ...

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There’s nothing more impressive than capping off a killer homemade dinner with crème brulee. Make it ahead of time, keep it chilled in the fridge, then torch before serving. To up the ante, we've mixed in some of our favorite salted caramel sauce into the crème brulee base. The salt balances the sweet, and the caramel notes go hand-in-hand with the top of burnt sugar. (Make ahead note: Once the jars are cold, they will last up to a week, sealed, in the refrigerator.)
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Ingredients for 4

  • 1 1/4 cups (220 g) granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup (59 g) water

  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 2 1/2 cups (625 g) heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 8 large egg yolks (130 g)

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Fresh berries, for serving

  • Fresh mint leaves, for serving


  • Step 1

    Set the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 176ºF (80ºC).

  • Step 2

    Make the salted caramel sauce: Heat 1 cup (146 g) sugar and water in a 2- or 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir to help the sugar dissolve, but stop stirring when the sugar comes to a boil. (You can swirl the pan a bit if you want.) When the liquid sugar turns dark amber, whisk in all the butter at once. The mixture will foam up and thicken. Whisk until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup (125 g) cream (the mixture will foam up again). Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and whisk until smooth. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then pour into a glass jar and let cool to room temperature. Don't worry if the sauce seems a bit too thin at first, it will thicken as it cools. Set aside 1/3 cup (120 g) for the crème brulees and store the rest in the refrigerator.

  • Step 3

    Whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, remaining 1/4 cup (44 g) sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and reserved 1/3 cup caramel sauce until evenly combined.

  • Step 4

    Heat remaining 2 cups (500 g) cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam and small bubbles form around the edges (158ºF); don’t let it come to a full boil.

  • Step 5

    Temper the egg mixture by slowly pouring in the warm cream while whisking constantly. This allows you to combine the two without cooking and curdling the eggs. (Pro Tip: I like to set up my mixing bowl over a heavy pot with a towel laid over it – this keeps the bowl from moving around as you pour with one hand and whisk with the other.)

  • Step 6

    Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl to remove most of the bubbles and foam. Let the mixture rest until the rest of the bubbles disappear.

  • Step 7

    Pour about about 2/3 cup (180 g / 6 oz) of the mixture into 4 half-pint jars with tight-fitting lids, just up to the bottom of the screw top threads. Go low and slow to minimize the creation of any bubbles on the surface. You should have about 1/2 inch of head space.

  • Step 8

    Place the lids on jars and lightly twist the band until just closed. It should be tight enough to barely feel resistance. If the lids are too tight the jars could crack during cooking. Using a pair of tongs, carefully place the jars upright into the water bath, fully submerging them. You may see a few lazy bubbles coming up from the sealed jars – that’s totally fine. Weigh down the jars if necessary. Set the timer for 1 hour.

  • Step 9

    A few minutes before the crème brulees are finished, prepare an ice bath.

  • Step 10

    When the timer goes off, remove the jars from the water bath and let cool for 15 minutes at room temperature. Transfer to an ice bath until chilled. From here, refrigerate the crème brulees for later use, or continue with the recipe. (If refrigerating, let the crème brulees warm at room temperature for 15 minutes before continuing.)

    • Finishing Steps

    • Step 0

      Remove the lids from the jars and dab away any condensation that may have pooled on the surface. Dust a layer of granulated sugar over the top. The more sugar you use, the more crunch you’ll get.

    • Step 1

      Use a blowtorch to caramelize the sugar until golden brown.

    • Step 2

      Let the sugar set and harden, about 5 minutes. Plaate with berries and mint leaves. Crack and dig in!

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176 F / 80 C Recipe Temp
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