Creme Caramel is a classic dessert, many people's favourite. Its origin is Western European but since it is very popular in Bulgaria and quite typical here, I added it to the Bulgarian recipes.
I have been perfecting the preparation of this dessert during many years! Hence, in this post I will give you all my tips how to make perfectly tasty and smooth Creme Caramel the easy way and with the simplest ingredients: eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla.
Creme caramel is a European dessert. It is not clear where exactly it comes from, even though its name is French. It is also known as "flan" "crème renversée" or the English word "custard".
What kind of dessert is that
In its classic version this famous dessert is a combination of milk, sugar, eggs and simple caramel (made with part of the sugar). The milk and egg mixture is baked in ramekins with some caramel on the bottom, which creates a wonderful syrup after the dessert is refrigerated.
However even simple, this desserts has some tricks which are very important for its perfectly smooth texture.
Tips for perfect result
In the past I had mastered the technique of Creme Caramel to perfection, after preparing it for different occasions like a hundred times. In this post I will share with you my best advices so you can make it at home without fail!
- The most important moment of this dessert is the baking: it should be baked at a very low temperature and in water bath. That means: you need to place the ramekins in a pan full of water and bake them with the water in the oven.
- Don’t let the water boil! If it starts boiling, automatically the creme caramel creates bubbles inside and its texture won’t be smooth. You need to check the oven constantly and fill it up with more cold water or ice cubes from time to time. A bit tedious but totally worth it.
- Don’t use a mixer to beat the eggs. Whisk them gently just until combined and then add the milk. You don’t need too much air inside the mixture.
- Another important moment is to heat the milk with the sugar to the point of simmering before adding it to the beaten eggs. Cool it down and add it little by little to the egg mixture.
- Don't serve the creme caramel hot or warm! You need to refrigerate the dessert first: this makes its texture nicer and also dissolves the caramel on the bottom.
Are you ready to make your most delicious Creme Caramel ever? Follow the recipe below and surely you will have a tasty and smooth dessert!
If you liked this recipe, you may also like the following desserts:
Classic Creme Caramel
For the Caramel:
- ½ cup/ 100 g sugar
For the Creme:
- ½ cup/ 100 g sugar
- 3 cups/ 600 ml whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until caramelised. Be careful not to burn the caramel: its colour should not become too dark. Ideally remove it from the heat when it is light to medium amber.
- Use a spoon to divide the caramel evenly into about 6 ramekins.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat combine milk and sugar. Stir occasionally until the milk starts simmering. Remove the pan from the heat and let the milk cool, stirring from time to time.
- In a large bowl gently beat the eggs with a fork. Gradually add the warm milk mixture to the eggs: just one tablespoon at a time. When all the milk is absorbed into to the eggs pour the creme into the ramekins with caramel on the bottom.
- Place the filled ramekins in a large baking pan and fill the pan with cold water. The water should cover the ramekins halfway. Place the pan in the oven.
- Bake the Creme Caramel about 1 hour at a low temperature: 130°- 140° C/ 260° – 280° F and another half hour at 160° C/ 320° F. From time to time add cold water or ice cubes to the pan to prevent boiling.
- When the Creme Caramel starts browning on top, remove the ramekins from the oven. Let them cool until room temperature and then transfer them to the fridge.
- Serve the Creme Caramel cold, inverted on a small plate. Carefully run a knife around the edges before inverting it.
- Always bake it in a pan full of water. Don’t allow the water to boil! In order to avoid boiling, occasionally add a bit of cold water to the pan. In case the water starts boiling at some point, this won’t have an effect on the taste of the dessert but will make its consistency bubbly and uneven and the creme caramel may even curdle.
- Bake the Creme Caramel at a very low temperature at the beginning to make it thicken gradually and without forming bubbles inside.
- Don’t beat the eggs with a mixer. Mix them gently with a fork, just to combine the egg and yolk together.