Creme brulee is one of my favorite, and I mean faaaavorite desserts. There is something about that crispy sugar shell and creamy custard that just gets me every time. Not all creme brulees are created equal though and as much as I love sampling them (and I really do) there are very few places I will order them again. If you’ve got a great creme brulee, you’ve got a customer for life! I have been dreaming of creating creme brulee fudge for a long time and this weekend I finally just did it. It is rich and creamy and has that signature crispy sugar coating that sort of crackles when you bite into it. I hope you enjoy my Marshmallow Creme Brulee Fudge Recipe as much as we did!
I can still remember the first time I had creme brulee. My aunt was visiting me for the weekend, I was just about to start my junior year at the University of San Diego, it was Labor Day Weekend, and we were in one of her favorite spots, Pacifica Del Mar. My aunt loved taking me to Del Mar when she came into town. Lucky me! I couldn’t afford to go to places like that on my own…if I wasn’t in the library you could find me at InCahoots boot scootin’ around. Del Mar was not my scene. This particular gorgeous San Diego afternoon we were sipping champagne, she was flirting with some lovely man there, maybe the owner – who knows, and he brings each of us a chilled ramekin with a single raspberry, a sprig of mint, and just a bit of powdered sugar, and says to me, “Enjoy Mademoiselle. My treat.”
After I broke through the top layer of sugar coating and took my first bite I was already wondering if it would be unseemly to order one to go and then eat it in the car… I mean, I didn’t do that but it did cross my mind. I contemplated it for a second…maybe like three seconds. you don’t understand! It was the best dessert ever! When I was staring at an empty ramekin I started to wonder…why I had never tried this before? Why had all the adults in my life held out on me? Why deny me years of dessert bliss? I had tried A LOT of new food with my aunt Linda. Some crazy food I could’t pronounce, couldn’t spell, couldn’t even tell you what was in it. I even ate escargot with some oil Sheik boyfriend of hers at the Beverly Hills Hotel when I was about 8 years old and yet I had never been introduced to this?! I felt kind of robbed. I’m not gonna lie. I did get over it though. I’ve pretty much made of for lost time though and have sampled lots of creme brulee desserts since then but nothing will ever beat my first one.
Since I can’t made creme brulee everyday (darnit!) and it’s not something you can easily share with friends I decided to finally make creme brulee fudge. This would be perfect for gift giving or as a substitute for a cookie exchange. Few suggestions before we get started: I highly suggest you get a candy thermometer. They are not that expensive but you need to know when your mixture gets to a certain temperature. If you can get your hands on a non-stick saucepan that will make stirring a lot easier. I personally don’t have one but I wish I did. The last thing which makes things a bit easier but isn’t a deal breaker if you don’t have one is a kitchen torch. I love mine and use it way more than I thought I would. My neighbor offered me some creme brulee and she started to apologize, “I’m sorry I can’t do the sugar thing. I don’t have one of those…” I cut her off and said, “Oh…but I do. I’ll be right back!” It’s a handy little kitchen gadget.
Now we’ll get started. Before you start cooking anything I want you to prep your vanilla paste first. If you have never used fresh vanilla bean paste it’s the best! Slice open a fresh vanilla bean right down the middle and scrap out the paste. I just use my fingernail because I find I can get the most out of it that way. I used about 4 big beans in this recipe. When you’re satisfied with you’ve got set aside.
Now melt butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in your saucepan over low heat. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Once all the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted increase the heat until the mixture comes to a boil and the temperature has reached 237F/114C. Stir constantly and don’t walk away from the stove. If it burns you have to start all over.
Once your mixture has reached 237F immediately remove from heat. Add white chocolate and marshmallows and stir until completely melted. You have to act quickly because it will start to harden pretty quickly. If you feel it begin to stiffen put your saucepan over very low heat just to warm it up and then stir. Add vanilla extract, salt and vanilla bean paste and mix well. Pour into an 8x8in cake pan lined with greased tin or parchment paper. Let cool for about 10 minutes on the counter.
*PLEASE NOTE: If you plan on broiling your fudge to caramelize the sugar or using a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar in the pan DO NOT use parchment paper…use tin foil only. I only used parchment paper because I knew I was not going to use my broiler nor was I going to burn the sugar in the pan. I moved the fudge to a cookie sheet and then used the kitchen torch.
You can see all the fresh vanilla beans pieces. It really gives it such a rich vanilla flavor you just can’t get with commercial extract. The link I included above is to my homemade vanilla extract recipe which uses fresh vanilla beans and vodka. It is so easy to make and makes the perfect gift.
Use 2 tablespoons of sugar (more if needed) to coat the top of the fudge. Make it as even as possible.
Again, if you are using parchment paper (which I think it easier to separate from than tin foil) then you must carefully transfer to a cookie sheet. You cannot torch the sugar if it’s still in the pan with the parchment paper or you’ll start a fire.
Use your kitchen torch on the lowest setting and hold a couple inches away from the sugar. I started in little sections at a time and then worked my way out and all around the edges.
Just like the real creme brulee dessert! I couldn’t wait for the fudge to cool so I could test it out. Put in the refrigerator to cool for at least an hour.
Success! I took this batch over to my friend, Andrea’s house and even her 9 year old loved it. This recipe is a keeper for sure and will be going in the family cookbook!
Perfect layer of sugar coating. Nice and thick!
- 2 cups sugar (superfine preferable) + more for sugar coating
- 2oz butter
- ⅔ cup evaporated milk (approximately 5 fl oz)
- 12oz premium white chocolate chips
- 8oz mini marshmallows
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 fresh vanilla beans, scraped (you just need the paste)
- Line an 8x8 in cake pan with tin foil (make sure you use cooking spray) or line with parchment paper. *If you plan to broil the pan to caramelize the sugar or if you will use a kitchen torch you must plan on removing the fudge prior to burning the sugar.
- Split the vanilla beans down the middle and scrape the paste out. Put paste aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat add 2 cups sugar, butter, and evaporated milk. Stir until sugar has dissolved completely. Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to medium/low, stirring constantly. Do not walk away from the pot as mixture could burn very quickly and easily. Stir until it reaches 237F/114C. This should take about 7 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat, add white chocolate chips and marshmallows, stirring until completely melted. If it starts to harden you can return to the stove under very low heat just to soften it.
- Add vanilla extract, salt, and vanilla paste and mix well.
- Pour fudge into into greased tin foil lined cake pan or parchment paper lined cake pan and let cool on kitchen counter for about 10 minutes.
- Use 2 tablespoons of sugar (more if needed) to coat the top of the fudge. Make it as even as possible.
- Broil method: Set your oven on broil and place your tin foil lined cake pan in the oven for a just a few minutes. You want it to brown and crystallize not burn.
- Kitchen torch method: If you are using parchment paper remove fudge from pan and place on a cookie sheet before torching. If you are using a tin foil lined cake pan you do not need to remove the fudge from the pan but do be careful as the edges of the pan could be very hot. Set your kitchen torch to the lowest setting and hold a couple inches away from the fudge. Start in the middle and work your way out to the edges in small sections at a time making sure to burn all of the sugar. You can go back and re-torch an area if you see that all the sugar has not burned. Don't overdue it or you will end up with blackened and burned sugar.
- Place fudge in the refrigerator for an least an hour to cool and set. When firm cut into small pieces. A plastic knife or pastry cutter works best.
I hope you enjoy this Marshmallow Creme Brulee Fudge Recipe! I would love to hear what you think…tell me below!