Creme brulee is one of the most beloved French desserts. It’s simple yet elegant, and it makes for a delightful finish to any meal.
This classic French dessert is known for its creamy custard filling, crunchy caramelized sugar topping, and subtle notes of vanilla.
While it may seem like an indulgent enough treat on its own, you can elevate your creme brulee experience with perfect pairings.
If you’re looking for ideas, I can offer you some of my favorite delicious dishes that pair perfectly with this creamy custard.
Keep reading to find out what to serve with creme brulee!
A quick solution on what to serve with creme brulee Fruit Salad, Cheesecake, Coffee, Fruit Topping or Compote, Fruit Topping or Compote, Chocolate Drizzle, Fresh Fruit, Chocolate Sauce, Caramel Sauce, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream, Fresh Mint, Toasted Nuts, Chocolate Shavings, Caramelized Bananas, Coconut Flakes, Candied Orange Peel, Salted Caramel Bits, Cinnamon Sugar Dusting, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Sugared Almonds & Pistachios, Fruit Compote, Mango Sorbet, Maple Syrup, Fruit Coulis, Crushed Peppermint, Whipped Cream, Toasted Marshmallows, Gingerbread Crumbles, Honey Comb, Salted Caramel Sauce, Candied Orange Peel, Cocoa Nibs, Coconut Shavings, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Granola, Popping Candy, Hazelnut Liqueur, Toasted Coconut Chips, Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans, Caramelized Pecans, Orange Marmalade, Key Lime Cheesecake, Biscuits to serve, Rice Pudding.
What is crème brûlée? What does crème brûlée taste like?
Crème Brûlée is a rich and creamy dessert made with custard and a caramelized sugar topping. It has a smooth texture and sweet vanilla flavor, balanced out by the crunch of caramelized sugar.
The classic version is flavored with vanilla beans, while variations may include other ingredients like liqueurs or spices.
Crème brûlée is an indulgent treat that can be served as it or topped with fresh fruit slices for an extra special finish!
What is special about crème brûlée?
Crème brûlée is a classy French dessert that is known for its creamy custard base and crunchy caramelized sugar top.
It is made by combining heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar, and flavorings such as vanilla or almond extract.
The custard is cooked in a bain-marie and topped with a layer of sugar which is then caramelized with a torch. This creates the signature crisp topping that gives the dish its unique texture.
The contrast between the cool, silky texture of the custard and the crunchy sweetness of the burnt sugar makes crème brûlée one of the most cherished desserts around the world.
It has become an iconic part of many dinner parties and celebrations, especially when served with fresh seasonal fruits or berries to provide an extra layer of flavor.
In addition to its delightful taste, crème brûlée also has great visual appeal due to its golden brown coloration that comes from caramelizing the sugar on top.
Best Food items to serve with creme brulee
Creme brulee is one of the most beloved and indulgent desserts, and it is perfect for any special occasion. Serving with the right accompaniments can take this classic dessert to a whole new level.
Here are 45 of the best and most popular food items to serve with creme brulee that will make your guests swoon:
1. Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a great option when it comes to pairing dishes with creme brulee. The sweetness of the fruit will complement the sweetness of the dessert without overpowering it.
If you want to get really creative, consider adding a few sprigs of fresh mint or basil for an extra bit of flavor.
Another classic pairing is cheesecake and creme brulee. The rich creaminess of the cheesecake complements the silky texture of the custard while offering a nice contrast in flavor profiles.
Plus, both dishes are relatively easy to make, so you won’t have too much trouble getting your meal together in time for dinner.
My all-time favorite Coffee is another great option when it comes to pairings for creme brulee. The strong, robust flavors of the coffee will cut through the sweetness of the dessert while adding an extra bit of depth and complexity to the overall dish.
Plus, if you’re serving coffee after dinner, it can help your guests digest their food more easily and settle into the conversation more comfortably.
4. Fruit Topping or Compote
A dollop of fresh fruit is the ideal way to offset the sweetness of creme brulee. Consider adding a spoonful of blueberry compote or a sprinkle of sliced strawberries to bring some acidity to the dessert.
If you want to keep it classic, opt for a sprig of mint or candied orange peel.
You can even get creative with other fruits like kiwi or mango—just use whatever you have on hand! Adding a topping will also add visual appeal to your dish and make an impressive presentation.
5. Cookie Crumble Topping
For a more savory pairing, top your creme brulee with a cookie crumble topping. This adds texture to the smooth custard and gives the dish some crunch.
For best results, opt for something light and buttery, like shortbread cookies or graham crackers, that won’t overwhelm the delicate flavors in the custard.
You can also combine crumbled-up cookies with nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts for added flavor complexity.
6. Chocolate Drizzle
Chocolate is always a winner when it comes to desserts! A drizzle of delicious chocolate sauce over your creme brulee brings out all the flavors in this classic treat and adds richness without being too overwhelming.
Choose something dark but not too bitter, like semi-sweet chocolate chips, for a balance between sweet and savory flavors.
You can also combine things up by using white chocolate if you prefer something lighter—either way, it’s sure to be delicious!
7. Fresh Fruit
Nothing pairs better with creme brulee than fresh, seasonal fruit like berries, oranges, plums, and apples. The natural sweetness of the fruit completes the creamy dessert perfectly. So, enjoy it with your family.
8. Chocolate Sauce
The rich chocolate sauce adds a decadent touch to creme brulee and makes it even more indulgent.
Add a swirl of chocolate syrup or melted dark chocolate over your creme brulee before serving to elevate its flavor profile.
9. Caramel Sauce
Another great option for topping off your dish is caramel sauce! Its sweet and gooey texture adds a unique twist to the custard-like texture of creme brulee and gives you an extra boost of flavor.
10. Whipped Cream
Adding a dollop of whipped cream on top brings an extra layer of creaminess that can’t be beaten!
It’s also great for adding volume to your dessert if you want to make it a bit more substantial without adding additional calories or fat content.
11. Ice Cream
Whether you opt for classic vanilla ice cream or switch it up with something more exotic like mango sorbet, pairing ice cream with creme brulee makes for an unforgettable experience your guests won’t soon forget!
12. Fresh Mint
For those looking for something refreshing after their dessert course, try adding some freshly cut mint leaves on top!
It will give your creme brulee a unique flavor while also bringing out its sweetness even more in comparison to other herbs like basil or rosemary.
13. Toasted Nuts
Give your dessert an extra crunch by sprinkling some toasted nuts on top! Walnuts, almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts all work great here.
Just make sure they’re chopped up finely enough, so they don’t overwhelm the delicate flavors of the creme brulee itself.
14. Chocolate Shavings
If you don’t have access to chocolate sauce, try sprinkling some finely chopped dark chocolate shavings over your finished dish instead!
This is a great way to get that same rich flavor without having to use sugary syrups or sauces that could overpower the subtle notes in this classic French dessert recipe.
15. Caramelized Bananas
Slice up some bananas and cook them in butter until golden brown before drizzling them over your creme brulee for added sweetness and chewiness – Yum!
16. Coconut Flakes
For another layer of delightful texture, toast some coconut flakes in butter until golden brown before sprinkling them on top.
This ingredient works particularly well when paired with tropical-flavored varieties such as mango or pineapple-flavored ice cream!
17. Candied Orange Peel
Sweeten things up even more by adding candied orange peel (or any citrus fruit) on top – it will create a unique flavor combination that’s sure to wow your guests!
18. Salted Caramel Bits
Give things an unexpected salty kick by finishing off your dish with salted caramel bits – they’re sweet yet savory all at once, which creates an amazing balance between flavors in each bite you take!
19. Cinnamon Sugar Dusting
You can sprinkle a light dusting of cinnamon sugar over the top just before serving for an irresistible hint of warmth that goes really well with both hot and cold versions alike!
20. Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
My favorite Vanilla bean ice cream is always perfect when served next to anything custard-based like crème brûlée as its creamy texture helps mellow out any overly intense flavors from other ingredients used in either dish.
So everyone gets just the right amount of taste sensations every time around!
21. Sugared Almonds & Pistachios
A mix of lightly sugared almonds & pistachios sprinkled atop provides you both crunchy texture & nutty flavor — not to mention how gorgeous this presentation looks too!
22. Fruit Compote
Sweet & tart fruits like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries are a great accompaniment to crème brûlée and make for a colorful presentation as well!
Simmer fresh fruit in sugar syrup until it forms a compote-like consistency before spooning it over your finished dish. Enjoy!
23. Mango Sorbet
For an extra refreshing twist, serve your crème brûlée with a scoop of mango sorbet on the side!
Not only does it look beautiful when served together, but the contrast in temperatures will give each bite a unique flavor experience as well. Enjoy!
24. Maple Syrup
If you’re looking for something slightly different yet equally delicious, try drizzling some maple syrup over the top for an added touch of sweetness without overpowering the delicate flavors of this classic dessert.
25. Fruit Coulis
Make a simple coulis by blending fresh fruit and sugar until smooth, then use it to garnish your creme brulee. This is a great way to add an extra hint of sweetness and vibrant color to your dish.
26. Crushed Peppermint
For an unexpected yet delightful flavor, you can sprinkle some crushed peppermint over the top! It will make for a refreshing contrast that pairs perfectly with the rich custard below. Enjoy!
27. Whipped Cream
Everyone loves a scoop of freshly whipped cream atop their creme brulee! Enjoy the lusciousness it adds with each bite, and make sure to have extra ready when guests ask for more!
28. Toasted Marshmallows
Toast marshmallows until golden brown, then place them on top of each serving for an indulgent combination of flavors & textures you won’t soon forget. Enjoy!
29. Gingerbread Crumbles
For a festive wintertime version, you can sprinkle some gingerbread crumbles over the top for a delightful mix of sweet & spicy flavors that’s sure to please any crowd! Enjoy!
30. Honey Comb
Drizzle honeycomb on the creme brulee before serving it up for an added layer of sweetness and crunchy texture.
This ingredient pairs especially well with fruity-flavored varieties like strawberry or peach ice cream. Enjoy!
31. Salted Caramel Sauce
You can try sweet and salty caramel sauce, which is an indulgent addition that perfectly complements the silky smooth custard of creme brulee.
Heat some cream with butter and sugar before adding a pinch of salt, then drizzle it over individual servings as desired. Enjoy!
32. Candied Orange Peel
Adding some candied orange peel to creme brulee can bring brightness and a hint of citrusy flavor.
Dice the orange peels into small pieces or leave them in strips for an interesting texture, then you can sprinkle over individual servings after the sugar has been caramelized. Enjoy!
33. Cocoa Nibs
For a sophisticated flavor infusion, top each crème brûlée with cocoa nibs – these tiny crunchy bits have a deep chocolate taste that pairs perfectly with the rich custard below. Delicious!
34. Coconut Shavings
Add some tropical flare to your favorite dessert by sprinkling coconut shavings over the top before serving!
This is sure to please any crowd, as it adds a bit of sweetness and crunch to each bite. Enjoy!
35. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Spread some pumpkin pie spice over the top for an added hint of autumnal flavors! This is a great way to bring the holiday spirit into your meal no matter what time of year it is. Delicious!
Mix things up by adding some granola to your creme brulee before serving! The crunchy texture and nutty flavor go perfectly with the creamy custard below, making it an easy yet delightful addition to your dish.
37. Popping Candy
For a fun surprise, you can sprinkle popping candy on top of individual servings as desired – this unique ingredient gives off a satisfying “pop” with each bite while also adding a bit of sweetness. Enjoy!
38. Hazelnut Liqueur
For an extra special treat, add a splash of hazelnut liqueur to the creme brulee before serving it up – this ingredient brings out the sweet flavors of the custard while also giving off an intriguing nutty aroma. Delicious!
39. Toasted Coconut Chips
Toast some coconut chips and sprinkle them over the top for added texture and flavor! This is a great way to give your dessert that extra something special without spending too much time in the kitchen. Enjoy!
40. Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans
Top each crème brûlée with chocolate-covered coffee beans for an added layer of sweetness and crunch.
This ingredient pairs especially well with vanilla-flavored custards, making it a must-try for any coffee lover out there! Enjoy!
41. Caramelized Pecans
Toast some pecans in the oven before chopping them into chunks, then sprinkle them on top for a delightful mix of sweet & nutty flavors.
It’s certain to be a hit with everyone around your table! Enjoy!
42. Orange Marmalade
Spread some orange marmalade over each crème brûlée before serving to give your dessert a hint of citrusy flavor and added texture.
This ingredient adds an unexpected yet delicious twist that’s sure to please any crowd. Enjoy!
43. Key Lime Cheesecake
If you’re looking for an indulgent dessert that will both surprise and delight, serve Key Lime Cheesecake with creme brulee.
The rich and creamy texture of the cheesecake provides a perfect contrast to the crunchy caramelized sugar on top of the delicate custard.
And the tartness of the key lime ensures every bite is full of flavor. A perfectly sweet ending to any meal!
44. Biscuits to serve with Creme brulee
When it comes to pairing biscuits with creme brulee, there are so many options to consider. From flaky, buttery puff pastry to the delicate crunch of ginger thins, each biscuit brings its own unique flavor and texture to the dish.
Chocolate wafers add an unexpected sweetness that balances the creamy smoothness of the creme brulee.
For a more traditional pairing, you can try using Ladyfingers for their light sweetness and spongy texture.
Whatever biscuit you choose, it will make the perfect companion for your next serving of creme brulee.
45. Rice Pudding
Rice pudding and creme brulee make a delicious combination, perfect for any special occasion.
The creamy texture of the rice pudding contrasted with the lightness of the creme brulee creates an irresistible combination that’s sure to keep your guests satisfied until their last bite.
What makes this dessert choice even better is that it is easy to prepare, making it an ideal option for busy hosts.
For those searching for something a bit more decadent, you can add a dollop of whipped cream and some freshly grated nutmeg to elevate this traditional treat even further.
With such a long-standing tradition, rice pudding combined with creme brulee is sure to impress both young and old alike.
What is the best dessert wine with crème brûlée?
Dessert wines are generally sweet, so pairing them with crème brûlée is a great way to make sure the sweetness levels don’t overpower each other. A perfect match for this classic French dessert is a Moscato d’Asti from Italy.
This semi-sparkling wine has lovely aromas of orange blossom and honeysuckle, making it both delightful to drink and an excellent accompaniment to the creamy cus tardiness of crème brûlée.
The natural acidity of Moscato also works to balance out the richness of the crème brûlée, allowing all the flavors to shine through in harmony.
Additionally, Sauternes or Barsac is a dessert wine that is often considered the best to pair with crème brûlée.
Grown in the Bordeaux region of France, these sweet wines are made from grapes affected by noble rot, giving them a unique taste and aroma.
With rich notes of peach and apricot, Sauternes offers just enough sweetness to balance out the creamy texture of crème brûlée.
The caramelized sugar on top also creates an amazing contrast with this wine’s honeyed flavors.
So next time you try crème brûlée, make sure to give yourself a truly decadent experience by pairing it with a glass of Sauternes or Barsac.
What to serve on top of creme brulee?
One delicious topping to serve on top of creme brulee is a sprinkle of granulated sugar. The sugar can be caramelized with a kitchen torch or blow torch, creating a crunchy and sweet layer that contrasts nicely with the creamy custard below.
To enhance the flavor even more, consider adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg for an aromatic twist.
Berries make for another great topping; fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries make a colorful and flavorful addition that also adds natural sweetness.
For an extra-special finish, grated chocolate or shaved coconut, Chocolate Shavings, and Whipped Cream add an indulgent touch to any creme brulee.
How to jazz up creme brulee?
Creme brulee is a classy French dessert that can be jazzed up in a variety of ways. To start, you can use different flavored custards as the base for your creme brulee.
Instead of the traditional vanilla custard, try mixing in some spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom for a unique twist.
For those who want to put an extra special spin on their creme brulee, you can top it with additional flavors such as berries, chocolate shavings, caramelized fruits, and nuts.
You can also add texture to your creme brulee by sprinkling it with ingredients such as graham cracker crumbs or chopped almonds and pistachios.
Another way to make your creme brulee stand out is to serve it with a flavorful garnish such as fresh fruit like kiwi slices and strawberries or sweet sauces like balsamic reduction or honey-rhubarb compote.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make savory versions of the dish by adding herbs and spices like rosemary and thyme to the custard mix.
Finally, don’t forget about the presentation! Try using decorative glaze over your creme brulee before topping it off with a sprinkle of sugar for a professional touch.
You could also get creative by using molds or cookie cutters to shape your dessert into interesting shapes that are sure to impress dinner guests.
With these simple tips, you can easily jazz up your creme brulee and enjoy this classic French treat in all its decadent glory!
How should crème brûlée be served?
Crème brûlée is typically served in a shallow ceramic dish, which helps to keep it warm during the presentation.
To enhance the taste and texture, it is best to serve the crème brûlée chilled before and then caramelized with a blowtorch or under a hot grill just before serving.
The caramelized top should be as thin as possible and should crack when tapped lightly with a spoon, revealing the creamy custard beneath.
For added visual appeal, garnishes such as fresh berries or mint leaves can be added to complete the presentation.
For those looking for something truly special and luxurious, nothing compares to homemade crème brûlée.
While the process may seem daunting at first, with just a few simple steps, it’s easy enough for any home chef to master.
Starting with egg yolks and heavy cream, combine them with your favorite flavorings – such as vanilla extract, chocolate chips, or a pinch of nutmeg – and pour the mixture into a shallow dish.
Set the dish in the oven and bake until it reaches a soft custard-like consistency.
After cooling, you’ll be left with an elegant dessert that can be finished off by sprinkling sugar on top and caramelizing it with a handheld torch or broiler.
FAQs on what to serve with creme brulee
Q1. What is panna cotta vs crème brûlée?
Panna cotta is a traditional Italian dessert made by mixing cream, sugar, and gelatin. It’s usually served with fresh fruit or a light sauce like caramel. Crème brûlée is an elegant French baked custard topped with caramelized sugar for a crunchy contrast in texture.
The custard is usually flavored with vanilla, although other flavors can be used as well. Both desserts are relatively simple to make at home but require some patience and delicate handling of ingredients, so they turn out perfectly!
Q2. Is crème brûlée eaten hot or cold?
Crème brûlée is traditionally served cold, allowing its custard-like texture and creamy flavor to truly shine. Upon serving, the topping of caramelized sugar is often cracked with a spoon, adding a delightfully crunchy texture to the dish that can be enjoyed both hot or cold.
The contrasting temperatures create a unique contrast of textures that make crème brûlée a favorite among many dessert enthusiasts. To finish off the dish, a variety of sweet accompaniments can be used as a garnish.
For instance, fresh fruit or whipped cream can heighten its flavor and aroma, while a light dusting of powdered sugar can add a unique visual appeal. No matter what accompaniment you choose to use, crème brûlée is sure to be an impressive end to any meal.
Q3. Do you eat crème brûlée with a spoon or fork?
Crème brûlée is traditionally eaten with a spoon since the hard caramel topping needs to be broken through, and the creamy custardy underneath can easily be scooped up.
However, some people may prefer to eat it with a fork if they don’t want to handle the hot caramel. Ultimately, it’s up to personal preference.