This 3-Ingredient Creme Brulee TikTok Hack Changes Everything

There are certain indulgent desserts which seem like the kind of thing you'd only order in a restaurant since they're just too fancy and/or complicated to ever attempt at home. Desserts such as profiteroles, croquembouche, Napoleons, soufflés, bananas Foster, or crème brûlée, a dessert almost as hard to type as it is to prepare, what with all those accents and whatever you call that little thing above the "u."

Well, some culinary genius on TikTok has now brought us a practically idiot-proof recipe for crème brûlée that doesn't call for any specialized ingredients or a lengthy, complicated preparation method. In fact, you don't even need a teeny-tiny little blowtorch to caramelize the sugar topping (without which no crème can be truly brûlée). You do, however, still need ramekins, because of course everybody has ramekins. What, you have no ramekins? Shh, we'll keep that shocking secret just between us (but LeafTV says it should be okay to use a ceramic mug or a teacup).

How to make 3-ingredient crème brûlée a la TikTok

The three ingredients you need are vanilla ice cream, an egg (actually just its yolk, in case you have spares on hand from a meringue or angel food cake baking project), and sugar. According to TikTok user @shefshaq, the vanilla ice cream has everything a crème brûlée needs, cream, salt, sugar, and eggs. Well, actually not all vanilla ice cream does contain eggs, although The Dairy Dish notes that vanilla (particularly French vanilla) is more likely to contain eggs than other ice cream flavors. Still, no need to worry if your ice cream is egg-free, since you'll be adding an extra egg yolk, one per each serving. Simply melt about half a cup of ice cream in the microwave (or on the stovetop, or just leave it out on the counter), then whisk in the yolk. Pour into your ramekin (or ramekin substitute), then place it into a baking pan that you've half-filled with hot water. Bake at 325 for 40 to 50 minutes until set, let cool, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. (This may be a simple recipe, but it's not a quick one.)

Putting the brûlée in (or on) your crème brûlée

Once you're ready to serve the crème brûlée, it's time to caramelize the sugar. You can do this on the stovetop — simply melt some sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. You don't even need any type of special, fancy sugar, either, just plain old ordinary white table sugar will do. Once the sugar has melted and liquefied, immediately pour it over the crème brûlée and tilt it so it forms a thin, even layer over the top. The sugar crust should harden within seconds and is then ready to shatter with your spoon. Don't go too crazy with the melted sugar, though, since the thicker the crust, the harder to break, and a shatterproof crème brûlée might be impossible to enjoy.

If you want to get fancy, you may garnish your crème brûlée with fresh mint leaves and perhaps a berry or a dab of fruit compute... oh, and if anyone calls you out on your use of teacups or mugs, should you be amongst the ranks of non-ramekin owners, just tell them it's shabby chic. Then do not invite them over for dessert a second time, since this crème brûlée is too good to waste on judgmental quibblers.