This matcha crème brûlée is the perfect green tea dessert with silky smooth texture and rich but well balanced flavors. Using only 4 ingredients and can be easily made ahead, this green tea custard is perfect if you're looking for a delicious dessert that's also classy and elegant!
This matcha crème brûlée have got to be one of my favorite green tea desserts so far. The custard is silky smooth and the flavor is well balanced. The matcha flavor isn't overpowering and the sweetness is just right so you want to just keep eating. And because of the matcha's slight bitterness, it also balanced out the richness of the cream.
It's like velvety custards and matcha are meant to be! We also love our Thai tea crème brûlée, which is similar to this matcha crème brûlée, but orange and is literally Thai tea in custard form. AMAZING!
But if you're looking for more impressive matcha dessert to make, this matcha soufflé pancake is another good one.
Ingredients for matcha creme brûlée
- Heavy cream - This is a must for making matcha crème brûlée. Heavy cream provides richness and thickness. We found that without heavy cream, the crème brûlées don't set as well.
- Culinary grade matcha powder - Culinary grade matcha powder is the minimum we recommend for crème brûlée and baking, in general. You can use better quality, but it would be a waste because delicate flavor of ceremonial grade matcha would be masked by the richness of the custard. However, lower grade matcha powder would make the creme brûlée an unappealing green and not as tasty.
- We've really enjoyed this culinary grade matcha powder from maeda-en. It's very good quality at a decent price.
- Egg yolks - Egg yolks are a must for making custards. They are used to help thicken the heavy cream into pudding/custard consistency. Make sure large egg yolks are used for this recipe. If using medium eggs, use 5 yolks instead.
- Granulated sugar - Sugar will be used in the custard for sweetening. It will also be sprinkled on top of the creme brûlée for caramelizing.
- Kitchen torch - A kitchen torch is very nifty to have, especially when making crème brûlée. It makes brûléeing the sugar much more fun and is great for show at the dinner table. Alternatively, the oven broiler works too.
- Baking ramekins - Baking ramekins are a must for crème brûlées. We also love these short wide mouth 8 ounce mason jars. They are great replacement for ramekins. They also come with lids, which is super convenient for storing creme brûlée overnight.
- Metal baking pan with tall sides - You can use any metal baking pan you have, as long it has 2 inches or taller sides. Metal is great for conducting heat and keeps the temperature constant. This will be used to hold the ramekins so that the creme brûlées are gently baked in a water bath. We usually use our old square brownie pan.
- Milk frother or matcha whisk - We found electric milk frothers and matcha whisk to be so much more efficient and better at incorporating matcha powder. Highly recommended!
How to make matcha creme brûlée
For the custard base:
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and prepare some hot water.
2. Pour most of the heavy cream into the saucepan and reserve about ½ cup. Add the matcha powder to the reserved heavy cream and mix with a frother or whisk until well combined and no more clumps are visible.
3. Add the matcha heavy cream into the sauce pan and give it a mix. Heat the heavy cream over medium high heat until small bubbles starts to form and the cream is scalded. Make sure to keep an eye on the cream and stir frequently to prevent scorching.
4. Remove the cream from heat and let it cool for a moment while you prepare the egg yolks and sugar. If there are still stubborn clumps of matcha, you can give the hot cream another whiz.
5. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly drizzle in the hot cream while whisking.
6. Strain the custard base into a container with spout.
To bake the creme brûlée:
1. Place 4 ramekins in a baking pan with tall sides, and portion the custard base into the ramekins.
2. Carefully fill the baking pan with hot water half way up the sides of the ramekin.
3. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center of the creme brûlées slightly wobbles when they're jiggled. If they still look loose, bake in 5 minute increments until the center wobbles.
4. Remove the creme brûlées from the oven and water bath. Let them cool at room temperature for a few minutes, then move them to the fridge. Let them chill and set for at least 2 hours.
1. Once the matcha crème brûlée are set, remove them from the fridge and let them warm up at room temperature for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of granulated sugar on top of the crème brûlée and roll the sugar around to coat the entire surface. Discard excess sugar.
3. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until golden brown. Let the sugar cool for a couple of minutes.
4. Serve immediately on its own or garnish with berries and mint leaves.
Alternative way to torch creme brûlée
If you don't have a kitchen torch, no worries! You can also use your oven broiler setting to caramelize the sugar.
Simply preheat the broiler and place the creme brûlées on a sheet tray and onto the top rack of the oven. Check the custards every 15 to 30 seconds, then more frequently once the sugar starts to caramelize, every 5 to 10 seconds. The sugar will be extremely hot and can burn in seconds.
Once the sugar is caramelized, immediately remove the creme brûlées from the oven. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
What to serve with creme brûlée?
Matcha creme brûlées are beautiful on their own because they're well balanced between sweet, bitter, and rich. If you'd like to pair the matcha custard, berries and mint leaves adds an extra pop to the dessert. A dessert wine will pair beautifully as well.
- Use boiling hot water for the water bath - Hot water will help the matcha creme brûlées cook more evenly, compared to if no water or if cold water was used. It will also decrease the cook time because the custards won't have to wait on the water to heat up first.
- Use a milk frother - Honestly this is my favorite tool for matcha recipes. It helps incorporate the matcha much better than regular whisks. Bye bye matcha clumps!
- Incorporate the hot cream slowly - Make sure to whisk and slowly stream the hot cream into the egg and sugar mixture to prevent the yolks from scrambling.
- Use a kitchen torch to pop big bubbles - When mixing, air can be incorporated into the custard base. If there are large bubbles, use a kitchen torch to gently pop those bubbles. Stick lighters work as well.
These matcha crème brûlées can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure they have been cooled to room temperature and chilled before covering. When ready to serve, simply let them warm up at room temperature and brûlée with sugar. Perfect for making ahead of time!
If you can't finish your crème brûlée within 4 days, you could freeze them instead. Once the crème brûlées are have been chilled, wrap it tightly and freeze up to 1 month. When ready to serve, thaw them out in the fridge the night before.
Crème brûlée is a baked, pudding-like custard with a layer of hardened, caramelized sugar. It's made of heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar, and flavoring of choice.
To temper eggs, in the case of crème brûlée, is to slowly add hot cream into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. This technique helps to bring up the temperature of the egg yolks more gently so that they don't become scrambled.
Scalding refers to heating a liquid, usually milk or cream, to right below a boil. When milk or cream is scalded, small bubbles will start to form on the surface. It'll quickly turn into a boil, so make sure to keep an eye on it!
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Matcha Creme Brûlée
- 2½ cups heavy cream divided
- 4 teaspoons culinary grade matcha
- 4 large egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar plus more for caramelizing
- Preheat the oven:Preheat the oven to 300°F and prepare some hot water.
- Heat the heavy cream:Add 2 cups of the heavy cream into a saucepan.
- To the remaining ½ cup of cream, add the matcha powder. Using a matcha whisk or a milk frother, incorporate the matcha powder until well combined and no lumps are visible. Add the matcha heavy cream to the saucepan and mix well.
- Over medium heat, scald the heavy cream. Make sure to stir frequently and monitor the cream to prevent scorching and boiling.*Scalding refers to bring the cream to right below a boil. So once you see tiny bubbles emerging, take the cream off the heat.*
- Once the cream is scalded, remove from heat.*If you still see some stubborn clumps of matcha, you can give the hot cream a couple of mixes.*
- Make the creme brûlée base:Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
- Slowly stream the hot cream a little at a time into the egg yolk mixture while whisking. This helps bring the temperature of the yolks up so that the hot cream doesn't scramble the eggs.
- With a fine mesh strainer, strain the creme brûlée base into a container with a spout.*This step is optional to remove any clumps or scrambled egg yolks and to keep the custard silky smooth.*
- To bake the creme brûlée:Place four 8 ounce ramekins into a baking pan with at least 2 inches tall sides (ie. square brownie pan).
- Portion the creme brûlée base into the four ramekins. Carefully pour the prepared hot water into the baking pan, half way up the ramekin.*DON'T splash water into your custard base! It will make your creme brûlée runny.*
- Bake the creme brûlée for 30 minutes, or until they slightly wobble in the center when you gently jiggle the ramekin.
- Set the custard:Remove the creme brûlée from the oven and out of the water bath. Let them cool slightly at room temperature, then place them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.*If cooling overnight, make sure to cover the crème brûlées.*
- Serve the creme brûlée:When the custards are ready to serve, remove them from the fridge and let them warm up at room temperature for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle about a tablespoon of granulated sugar on top of each and roll the sugar around to evenly cover the surface. Discard excess sugar.
- With a kitchen torch, carefully brûlée each custard until the sugars are caramel in color.
- Let the sugar cool for a minute and enjoy! These matcha crème brûlées are also great with berries and garnished with some mint leaves.