I used a youtube recipe for passion fruit creme brulee. I followed the ingredients and the steps and my creme brulee ended with lots of oil on top of it.

Why did this happen?


My burnt sugar topping was chewy as well, instead of crunchy. Any tips?

  • 2
    Oil, really? Are you sure it was not whey?
    – rumtscho
    Aug 26, 2016 at 6:47
  • It was oily I touched it and it felt like oil, and it was clear and golden. Aug 26, 2016 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


If the custard over baked, the liquid could have separated from the solid. The creme will look loose, or semi-liquid, when it is removed from the oven after gently baking bain marie (created by the water poured around the ramekins, placed in a larger container). The custard sets during cooling, first on a rack and then in the frig. The sugar may have absorbed the liquid, and became more of a caramel as it was heated, rather than the burnt (brulee) crust.

  • 2
    Agreed. Despite the OP's identification of the liquid as oil, I still think it's whey and he misinterpreted the feel. I now took the time to watch the video, and the recipe is very risky - it takes the cream to 200 F, it uses fruit (acid increases the chances of curdling), it does not give amounts (too little sugar increases the chances of curdling), and worst of all, it suggests baking at 350 F and simply throws in a time assessment (45 min). A cook would have to be quite lucky for this recipe to not split.
    – rumtscho
    Aug 26, 2016 at 15:40
  • @rumtscho; yes, I referenced the recipe on the creator's web site, and had similar thoughts byrontalbott.com/?s=passion+fruit+creme+brulee
    – Giorgio
    Aug 26, 2016 at 15:47
  • @rumtscho what temperatures are more reasonable for heating the cream and then baking it? is the 200F / 350F too high? Aug 26, 2016 at 18:31
  • If I may, the classic method has you scald the cream (in saucepan), beat eggs and sugar in a mixer, gently add the hot cream while continuing to beat, add vanilla, pour into ramekins. Into bain marie. Oven at 300 F (150 C, oven mark 2), bake 35-40 minutes. When out of the oven, remove from water bath or it will continue to bake. Search 'classic creme brulee' and try a four-ingredient recipe.
    – Giorgio
    Aug 26, 2016 at 23:04

It’s not oil, it’s not whey, it’s the butter fat from the cream which has separated. This happened to me, while delicious on toast, not exactly what you’d like to have on top of your creme brulee. It helps to cook on a gentler heat; lower oven temp and in a water bath. Also helps to cover the individual ramekins with foil and to only turn the oven on the bottom, do not turn the top heating element. Also, check your cream, you want to use homogenized whipping cream; which doesn’t separate as quick as the natural; less processed non homogenization stuff.

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