{Recipe: Greek Yogurt Crème Brûlée}

The first time I had crème brûlée, I was on a trip with my parents to visit my sister in Paris, where she was studying at La Sorbonne.  As it was December and quite cold, we spent most of our evenings in her apartment.  The four of us would go to the store and pick up groceries and we would try to cook in her kitchen, which could fit no more than a single individual.  It was a challenge, to say the least… one that resulted in lots of laughter.  Thankfully, everyone made it through the whole experience with all of their limbs still attached to their bodies.  But we decided that it was probably a good idea to go out the rest of the nights.

The City of Lights was just as beautiful in the darkness as it was during the day, though it was hard to appreciate our surroundings as we walked briskly through the frigid winds.  When we arrived at the restaurant, we all unraveled our scarves and threw off our mittens and enjoyed what was, for me, a very memorable meal.  That  dinner marked the first time I had three very different, but equally satisfying, dishes.  The first two came early in the meal when we were presented with a plate of pan fried frogs legs and a bowl of  escargot in a pesto sauce. And the last ended our dinner in the form of a gorgeously prepared crème brûlée (silky custard in the middle with a thin, crispy caramel-colored layer of sugar on top).

And from that moment on I was a fan.  I’ve had it countless times in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors.  Chocolaty, fruity, boozy (salty even).

Yet, with the number of crème brûlée that have been consumed, this was the first time I’d made it.  And I wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t been asked by the Chobani Greek Yogurt company to create a recipe for their blog*.  It was an easy decision, actually.  I knew that I wanted to make a dessert.  Cheesecake, my first choice, has been done before and I wanted to do something a little different.

And, to my very pleasant surprise, it works.  In terms of consistency, the Chobani Greek Yogurt didn’t need a whole lot to give it the richness this dessert requires.  A little sugar, a spoon of vanilla, a dash of cinnamon and a couple of eggs… and you have yourself the crème for crème brûlée !

*For the sake of full disclosure, Chobani was generous enough to send a box of free (and very delicious) yogurt.

(serves 4)

Ingredients

15 oz Chobani 2% plain Greek Yogurt

3 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp cinammon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the above ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until all the ingredients have mixed together.

Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins and place inside a roasting pan.  Fill the pan with water so that it reaches about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the mixture looks like Jello when you shake the ramekin (it is key not to overcook them, as they will turn into souffles/mini cheesecakes).

Remove from the pan and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and a half and up to 2 days.  When you are ready to eat them, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before browning the sugar on top.

Sprinkle on top with sugar.  Using a torch, melt the sugar until it has turned golden brown and becomes crispy on top.  Serve immediately.

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  • Laurie AlvesJanuary 13, 2011 - 5:27 am

    Fabulous! Your creative mind is inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • MonetJanuary 13, 2011 - 6:18 am

    Well I must say that Paris is probably the best place in the world to try your very first creme bruelee! I loved hearing your recollections. How great that Chobani asked you to create a recipe. I have some coupons they sent me, and I may have to use my yogurt for this recipe! Thank you for sharing with me, my friend. Stay warm and safe during the rest of the week!ReplyCancel

  • ms_kaminiJanuary 13, 2011 - 11:46 am

    that looks amazing!! Will definitely be trying that out at my next dinner party.

    If you like that yoghurt tartness, try out Bill Grangers Yoghurt Pannacotta with Rose water Raspberries. http://deelishuss.blogspot.com/2010/11/south-african-christmas-recipe-part-2.htmlReplyCancel

  • Lauren at KeepItSweetJanuary 13, 2011 - 12:43 pm

    I'm not a big creme brulee lover, but I love the idea of using greek yogurt to make it!ReplyCancel

  • wenderlyJanuary 13, 2011 - 12:45 pm

    OH my stars I'm drooling! I'm married to a sweet Greek boy and we *love* Greek yogurt! This sounds like the perfect dessert to dazzle both my hubs AND MIL! Merci!ReplyCancel

  • Ken│hungryrabbitJanuary 13, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    Nice and easy, I like.ReplyCancel

  • Chef DennisJanuary 13, 2011 - 1:22 pm

    Brian
    what a great idea for your creme brulee!!
    I love using Greek yogurt! I am going to have to try your recipe soon!
    How I do miss Paris, my favorite city!
    Cheers
    DennisReplyCancel

  • ElizabethJanuary 13, 2011 - 1:44 pm

    This sounds delightful. I can just imagine how wonderful the tang from the yogurt would be combined with the sweet eggy custard.ReplyCancel

  • CarolynJanuary 13, 2011 - 1:45 pm

    Love, love, love Chobani and I love how you made creme brulee from it! Yum.ReplyCancel

  • Emily, Chobani Greek YogurtJanuary 13, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    Brian, it was beyond a pleasure to work with you on this. Thanks so much for creating such brilliance from our product. It's truly beautiful. :)ReplyCancel

  • Fun and Fearless in BeantownJanuary 13, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    Your description of Paris is delightful. The Chobani creme brulee looks wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • RJ FlamingoJanuary 13, 2011 - 2:05 pm

    I've been a creme brulee fan for many years, too, and this variation sounds like a delightful twist – the tang of the yogurt balancing the sweetness, not to mention the lower fat content. Must try this.

    And what's wrong with mini-cheesecakes, anyway? LOL!ReplyCancel

  • Angela@RecipesFromMyMomJanuary 13, 2011 - 2:13 pm

    Dare I say, you've created a healthier crème brûlée? I keep hearing about the benefits of Greek yogurt so this would be a great way to get healthy.ReplyCancel

  • LisaJanuary 13, 2011 - 2:15 pm

    I've never had creme brulee…but it looks fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • bunkycooksJanuary 13, 2011 - 2:15 pm

    Paris is truly a magical city and your memories of it are delightful. I adore Chobani yogurt and used it in a panna cotta recipe with Grand Marnier for them a month or so ago. I love that it substitutes perfectly for sour cream and heavy cream in most dishes. I can't wait to try this recipe for creme brulee!ReplyCancel

  • ElleJanuary 13, 2011 - 2:41 pm

    Wow, who knew it could be made with yogurt? Impressive! Loved reading about your trip to Paris when you were younger, too. How fun!ReplyCancel

  • Cake DuchessJanuary 13, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    I love what you did with the Chobani Yogurt. I still have some left and I can try out your recipe. Looks divine! Gorgeous photos:)ReplyCancel

  • The Small Boston KitchenJanuary 13, 2011 - 3:38 pm

    Ohhhhhh my. This looks AMAZING!ReplyCancel

  • Evan @swEEtsJanuary 13, 2011 - 3:46 pm

    I love this! I don't think I realized you could make creme brulee with yogurt! I have to say this is one dessert I love ordering when we're out so I'd love to try it at home.. well done :)ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey @ Gingerbread BagelsJanuary 13, 2011 - 3:55 pm

    Wow wow and wow! I would have never of thought of using yogurt to make creme brulee. Actually I didn't even know it was possible. You are so creative and talented in the kitchen. You truly did Chobani proud with your recipe. As always, your photos are absolutely stunning. I'm definitely going to try out your recipe. I still have my Chobani yogurt. And thank you for putting a link to our Chobani recipes, so sweet of you! :)ReplyCancel

  • katJanuary 13, 2011 - 4:02 pm

    I never thought of using yogurt to make creme brulee, great idea!ReplyCancel

  • IsabelleJanuary 13, 2011 - 4:15 pm

    Creme brulee is one of my favourite desserts, both to make at home and to order when I'm out. I've never seen it made with yogurt before… what a neat twist on a classic! The tangy yogurt and the sweet caramel sound like a wonderful combination, especially since the rest of the flavours are so simple.ReplyCancel

  • Lael Hazan @educatedpalateJanuary 13, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    Congratulations, Wow, Creme brulee with yogurt, how creative!ReplyCancel

  • alison @ Ingredients, Inc.January 13, 2011 - 4:50 pm

    i am loving this recipe and idea! Fabulous!ReplyCancel

  • MeetaKJanuary 13, 2011 - 4:57 pm

    Oh yes I am definitely a fan of Creme Brulee and my blog is evidence of it :o) I really love the idea of using yogurt here.
    And as for your memories of Paris – some of the best ones are made with family.ReplyCancel

  • Andrew FrishmanJanuary 13, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    Mmnnn. . . I LOVES me some çrêmé, especially when its brulééd.

    Los estadounidenses están fuertemente atraídos a los alimentos que incluyen acentos.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne @ CookSister!January 13, 2011 - 5:06 pm

    MMMM, creme brulee! Never thought to make it with yoghurt though. In a similar vein, I first had creme caramel in Bordeaux as a 14-year old and that was so awe-inspiring that it spoilt all future cheap facsimiles for me forever :o)ReplyCancel

  • SaraOneTribeGourmetJanuary 13, 2011 - 5:18 pm

    My favorite dessert of ALL time is creme brulee! I love how you used Greek yogurt in the the recipe! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • The CilantropistJanuary 13, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    Brian I adore chobani and I adore you. This recipe is creative and the use of greek yogurt puts a new twist on a old classic, well done my friend! :)ReplyCancel

  • MelissaJanuary 13, 2011 - 6:42 pm

    I love this idea!ReplyCancel

  • Barbara | VinoLuciStyleJanuary 13, 2011 - 6:49 pm

    Very nice…and especially nice that I have my own case of Chobani on the way! I LOVE their honey flavored yogurt so will be experimenting with it but thinking it would make a fabulous creme brulee too!ReplyCancel

  • saltyseattleJanuary 13, 2011 - 6:59 pm

    Hmm, I wouldn't have thought it would work so well- I do love putting creamy things in my mouth- wish you could shoot some over here :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ My Kitchen AddictionJanuary 13, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    Ooh… I love Chobani yogurt, and this is a great way to use it! Creme Brulee is one of my all time favorite desserts. Lovely!ReplyCancel

  • SteffanyFJanuary 13, 2011 - 8:15 pm

    Dude. DUDE. Yogurt creme brulee? Genius. I definitely want to make this! I have the ramekins, now I just need a torch. (Yes, you can use the broiler but it's just not as much FUN!)ReplyCancel

  • Bianca @ Confessions of a ChocoholicJanuary 13, 2011 - 9:32 pm

    Brian this is genius! I love creme breulee and absolutely love Chobani. I never thought imagined creme brulee made with Greek yogurt! great job!ReplyCancel

  • Kudos KitchenJanuary 13, 2011 - 9:58 pm

    All the best ingredients. I think I'm in love.ReplyCancel

  • JustinJanuary 13, 2011 - 10:03 pm

    This really looks fantastic. Great job coming up with the recipe. I can't wait to try it out.ReplyCancel

  • CaneelJanuary 13, 2011 - 10:08 pm

    Creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts. I will def. have to try this with Greek yogurt. It looks so delicious — thank you!ReplyCancel

  • MeganJanuary 14, 2011 - 1:37 am

    I have never seen such an easy creme brulee recipe. I remember having to heat cream and slowly temper it into eggs whisked with sugar. This takes away so much of the work… and I bet the Greek yogurt gives it a nice tang. Your sugar layer looks beautiful. I am going to buy a torch one of these days (propane… I need my big girl torch!).ReplyCancel

  • TiffanyJanuary 14, 2011 - 1:49 am

    How cool! This is a great way to use greek yogurt! And your narrative totally made me miss Paris! Sigh.ReplyCancel

  • The Enchanted CookJanuary 14, 2011 - 2:48 am

    Amazing!! I love greek yogurt and what an innovative idea! Who knew? Oh yeah, that's right, you did!ReplyCancel

  • sara @ CaffeInaJanuary 14, 2011 - 3:08 am

    Brian, you had a brilliant idea! I'm in phase of creams-cravings so this has to be made sooooon. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the beautiful pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Daydreamer DessertsJanuary 14, 2011 - 3:40 am

    So glad you decided to go with creme brulee instead of cheesecake, this recipe is so inspirational! Love it!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - Liv LifeJanuary 14, 2011 - 5:16 am

    I saw your comment about this on twitter today and have been eager to see the post. Creme Brulee is one of my all time favorite indulgences, but your greek yogurt (chobani is one of my all time favorites!) makes the brulee less of a guilty pleasure! I'm eager to give this one a try!ReplyCancel

  • buyffxivgilJanuary 14, 2011 - 6:41 am

    WoW that one looks delish. I find it interesting to try out chobani for the first time thus tons of ideas runs in my head right now. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Mardi @eatlivetravelwriteJanuary 14, 2011 - 1:22 pm

    Interesting… I am a purist when it comes to desserts like crème brûlée but I would be interested to try this… I mean, if *you* say it's good…. Unfortunately, of course we can't get Chobani here.ReplyCancel

  • MojoManJanuary 14, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    An interesting twist on crème brûlée. The very best true 'Greek yogurt' is FAGE, in my opinion. It reminds me of the yogurt I would have every morning when I visited Greece (along with a Greek coffee = heaven). Just add a touch of honey over the top (DON'T mix-it in) and away you go. The Chobani (made by a Turkish firm) is not bad but the FAGE (made by a Greek family in NY) tastes much truer to the authentic Greek yogurt recipe. Good Greek yogurt can be used in so many ways and dishes (had with a baked potato last night). I look forward to trying this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • LizzyJanuary 14, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    Wow, I would never have thought of using Greek yogurt for creme brulee…I'm so glad it was successful! It looks wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • LirenJanuary 14, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    Amazing, Brian! I adore creme brulee, have for years, but never once did I encounter one that uses Greek yogurt. I would love to try it! (And I just love the color of those egg yolks!)ReplyCancel

  • JoanneJanuary 14, 2011 - 7:18 pm

    I love that you actually had creme brulee for the first time IN paris. that had to have been mind-blowing. Maybe I need to convince my brother to study abroad there…

    Greek yogurt creme brulee?!?!? You are a genius. And you have just made my hips very happy.ReplyCancel

  • Angie's RecipesJanuary 15, 2011 - 11:18 am

    What a brilliant idea of using Greek yogurt in creme brulee!
    I wish you a wonderful weekend!
    AngieReplyCancel

  • JackieJanuary 15, 2011 - 6:35 pm

    This looks awesome, Bri! You're so creative – love it! I haven't made creme brulee for yonks… let's make this when I'm in town ;)

    Jax xReplyCancel

  • Confectionary DesignsJanuary 15, 2011 - 10:39 pm

    What a nice twist on a classic! Looks wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • JamieJanuary 16, 2011 - 2:12 pm

    I've lived here too long to be touched by the romantic aura of Paris but your story is wonderful (even to an old curmudgeon like me!) and the crème brulée is perfect!!! Now YOU can move to France!ReplyCancel

  • The Mom ChefJanuary 17, 2011 - 4:36 pm

    My mom makes an incredible crème brulée and would probably say 'quelle horreur' because you used yogurt, but she'd get over it with one taste. It looks fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • danasfoodforthoughtJanuary 17, 2011 - 6:05 pm

    What a creative way to use the yogurt! Sounds delicious… now I just need to get my hands on a torch :)ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer BApril 8, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    I think for this idea Chobani should have sent you a years worth! Yum!!!ReplyCancel

  • [...] Thank you for the lovely recipe inspired by A Food For Thought! [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] a sinfully rich and creamy creme brulee without the heart-stopping 40% fat heavy cream! Brian Samuels developed this exquisite recipe for [...]ReplyCancel

  • [...] behold, there was a great recipe for Greek Yogurt Creme Brulee from a dear blogger friend, Brian of A Thought For Food.  He really did the heavy lifting for me here, I have to confess.  Turns out that since Greek [...]ReplyCancel

  • shabby sherrieMarch 24, 2014 - 3:25 am

    I don’t care for yogurt . . . but i had my first creme brulee when a friend ordered it at a restaurant she had taken me to. she asked if i wanted some and i said no because i didn’t know WHAT IT WAS! I THOUGHT it was something with liquor in it like brandy or something and i do like that kind of thing. when i saw it, i said i would take a bit and i was HOOKED. i made a recipe one time that was difficult, but have since found one that you just mix the yolks, sugar, vanilla and cream together well and put in the oven in the water. it is the best. i have also found a package like pudding at kroger. you just put the eggs and this pudding-like mix in with the cream on stove top. when it starts to boil, let it go for 30 seconds, stiring constantly. put it in the dishes and fridge or room temp! add sugar and TORCH. E-A-S-Y. no oven!! it is delicious with the same falvor, but not quite as wet creamy, i don’t know how to describe it, home made is a thinner creamy? anyway, it’s not that hard to make — don’t pay attention to those hard recipes. this recipe call for only 4(?) eggs, all my recipes call for six. is this an adjustment for the yogurt? also, i think i bought nonfat yogurt (and it was store brand) is that going to matter? i don’t like yogurt because of the tangy, does it make the cb tangy? i’m going to try it irregardless! that cream is 50(!!) calaries a tablspoon!!!! FAT. hope this is good, i like yogurt on my bakes potatoes (i just thought of that, so i hope this is like that . . . good). thanks!ReplyCancel

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