Origin - France / Spain / England
In the early eighteenth century, the dessert was called “burnt cream” in English.
Crème brûlée is a pudding-like, baked custard that quickly melts in your mouth, topped with a texturally contrasting layer of caramelized sugar that cracks as soon as you dip your spoon in. Crème brûlée is rich in flavor but not too overly sweet that makes it the perfect dessert to pair with your favorite meal.
[ Fun Fact ]
Dark chocolate Crème brûlée with cayenne peppers
The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but is also sometimes flavored with lemon or orange (zest), rosemary, chocolate, coffee, liquors, green tea, pistachio, coconut, and various berries.
[ History ]
The earliest known Crème brûlée recipe appears in Francois Massialot’s 1691 cookbook. The version published there was called “burnt cream”.
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge in England.
The dessert then disappeared from French cookbooks and reappeared in the 1980’s at Trinity College, Cambridge where a student created a version of Crème brûlée with the college crest on top of burnt sugar and named it “Trinity Cream”. Till this day, the college kitchen still makes the famous dessert.
Caramelizing the sugar with a blowtorch
Although the French have claimed some history of Crème brûlée, its origin may not be French at all! England and Spain have also claimed to be its creator of the famous dessert. However, food historians and experts have explained that custards were very popular in the Middle Ages and that it could have spread anywhere in Europe, thus making it difficult to trace Crème brûlée’s actual roots.