1. Bring the cream and milk to a boil with the vanilla bean inside. As soon as it starts boiling, remove from heat and let cool down to 36 C.
2. In the mean time, whip the egg yolks with the sugar and the vanilla essence until creamy but still liquid.
3. Pour slowly the yolk mixture in the cream while whisking.
4. Pour the ready mixture in 10 ramekin cups and place them in a hotel pan.
5. Fill the pan with hot water to the middle of the ramekins, surrounding the remekins. Ccover with aluminum foil and place it in a preheated oven at 350 F. Leave a small hole in the foil.
6. After about 35 minutes start checking every 5 minutes or so. When the crème brulee is set, it is ready.
7. It may look a little bit wobbly in the middle, but it should be ready.
Keep in mind that you can't safely leave it to cook for a little while longer, because you can end up with sweet and expensive scrambled eggs instead of creme brulee.
8. Refrigerate the desserts until completely cold.
9. Before serving sprinkle lightly with sugar and burn the top until caramelized, with kitchen torch.
If you don't have a pastry torch you can caramelize sugar in a pan and spoon a thin layer on top of the crème brulee.
Cooking tip: You can add a shot of liqueur in the creme brulee mixture, if desired. Suitable liqueurs are all nut-flavored liqueurs such as Frangelico (hazelnut), Disaronno (almond), even Sambucca (star anise).