Cook with Jacques and Friends

Crème brûlée is an amazing dish that I’ve enjoyed for years!  I’ve always loved the classic flavor and impeccable technique needed to truly make this dish shine. Chef Jacques Pépin has taught me that a solid foundation with an impetus on technique separates a chef from their peers and that’s something that resonated with me. I’m so proud to share my Filipino spin on this recipe by adding ube (pronounced ooh-beh) powder. Ube is a purple yam originally from the Philippines which has a slightly nutty, vanilla taste and is often boiled and mashed and mixed with condensed milk in Filipino desserts.

Ube Crème Brulee


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup ube powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar or should we say 3 tablespoons
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • Additional sugar, for sprinkling


  1. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of the cream and the ube powder and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let steep for 2 hours to cool before straining the cream to yield 1 cup of ube flavored heavy cream.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the ube cream with the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream, the sugar and the salt, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat. While the milk is heating whisk the egg yolks together and then slowly drizzle the hot cream over the eggs while constantly whisking. Strain the custard through a fine sieve and carefully pour into 4 ramekins set on a baking sheet or in a shallow ovenproof dish. Carefully pour room temperature water into the dish so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until set, 12 to 15 (35) minutes. Allow the custards to cool to room temperature at least 2 hours, or chill in the refrigerator.
  4. Shortly before serving, sprinkle the additional sugar over the crème brûlées, and then carefully caramelize with a blowtorch.