The classic creme caramel is my favorite dessert. It's simple and smooth and while it's creamy, it's not overly rich.
The caramel is made by boiling together sugar and water to form a caramel syrup. Depending on what you like, your syrup can be a light amber color or a deep, rich golden hue which makes for a richer contrast in flavors.
- 3 whole eggs
- 2 yolks
- 60g (2 oz)sugar
- 250ml milk
- 250ml cream
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 200g (7 oz) white sugar
- 70ml water
- Special equipment: 6 small ramekins or dariole moulds & roasting pan.
- Pre-heat the oven to 280F (140C). Line the bottom of the roasting pan with a kitchen paper towel. Set aside.
- Use a sharp knife to split the vanilla pod in half length-ways and scrape out the seeds. Place the seeds and pod into a small saucepan with the milk and cream. Heat gently over a low heat.
- Meanwhile make the caramel by placing sugar and water together in a small, saucepan over a low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring mixture to the boil. Continue to boil, without stirring for 6-8 minutes or until a deep golden color. If sugar crystals start to form up the side of the saucepan you can occasionally brush the sides with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Pour caramel evenly among 6 (1/2-cup) capacity ovenproof ramekins. Set aside to cool for several minutes. Transfer ramekins into the paper-lined roasting pan. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the whole eggs, yolks and 60g sugar. Add the warm milk mixture while gently stirring with the whisk. Be careful not to whisk vigorously as this will cause too many bubbles in the custard.
- Strain the mixture into a pouring jug. Straining will help remove the vanilla pod and any stringy egg bits. Carefully pour mixture over the caramel in the ramekins.
- Pour enough boiling water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes or until custards are just set and still wobbly. Remove from oven.
- Transfer the ramekins to a baking tray and set aside for 30 minutes to cool then cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight to chill.
- To serve, run a flat-bladed knife around the inside edge of the ramekins and carefully turn custard onto serving plates. Serve immediately.