Preheat the oven too 300°. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and sugar mixture. Once dissolved, add vanilla extract and vanilla bean (optional) along with the heavy cream. Mix until combined, but do not overwhisk or there will be a lot of bubbles.
Pour the mixture equally into 4 ramkins. If using a crème brûlée kit, place them into the wire rack. Fill the pan with water until the bottom half of the crème brûlée is submerged and place into the oven.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until the edges have set but the middle is still slightly loose. Place the cups in the fridge for two hours.
Evenly sprinkly the sugar onto the tops of the ramkins and using a kitchen torch, heat until the sugar has caramelized and hardened. This does not take long. Alternatively, you can place them into the oven until "broil" for several minutes (2-3 typically) until they caramelize.
We like to add a 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder and top them with a cinnamon sugar mixture - it really is a game changer!