Nutcracker Crème Brûlée

Playing with the name of Nutcracker and the sweet, creamy aroma of the tea, Chef Isabelle Dionne of Four Seasons Whistler immediately thought of cracking the caramelized sugar on a crème brûlée.

Sugar snowflakes waltz around a Nutcracker shaped shortbread, a reflection of the ballet she once watched with her mother.

Notes from Isabelle Dionne, Chef at Four Seasons Whistler:


The cooking time is the most important factor in achieving the right texture – too short and the crème crûlée becomes too watery especially after using the blowtorch, too long will result in a rubbery texture and will taste like scrambled eggs. Not creamy, which is the desired result.

“Crème brûlée doesn’t seem like a difficult thing to do, and once you have the technique down, you keep trying to optimize and perfect it for the rest of your career.”

Nutcracker Crème Brûlée


  • 2 Cups
    Cream 35%
  • 1 Cup
    Milk 3.25%
  • 1
    Vanilla Bean
  • 3 Tablespoons
    TEALEAVES Nutcracker Loose Leaf Tea
  • 1/2 Cup
    Granulated Sugar
  • 10
    Egg Yolks


  1. In a pot, bring the cream, milk and vanilla bean to a boil.

  2. Take away from the heat and add the tea.

  3. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it infuse for 5 minutes.

  4. With a whisk, mix the egg yolk and sugar until light and fluffy.

  5. Pour the liquid over the egg yolk mix.

  6. Mix well and then pass through a fine sieve chinois.

  7. Pour the crème brûlée mix in the desired container.

  8. Cook in a bain-marie for approximately 45 minutes to a hour.

  9. Set in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

  10. Caramelize the sugar on top using a blowtorch.

  11. Serve with Nutcracker-shaped shortbread and caramelized hazelnut.

  12. Enjoy.

In time for the holidays, TEALEAVES, in a collaboration with 15+ ballet companies, 10+ luxury hotel partners, and an antiquarian horologist, launched the worldwide Nutcracker #AfternoonTEALEAVES: Gifts of Time initiative. The project is a twist to the traditional gift guide that offers experiential pairings to afternoon tea, themed after the story of the Nutcracker, and celebrates the arts, true craftsmanship, and spending quality time with others.


Piece together your real-life Nutcracker fairytale and explore various ‘Gifts of Time’. Journey to

Tea in recipe


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