Step by step recipe:
Pour a little liquid caramel into the bottom of a ramekin...
... and turn the ramekin so that the caramel coats the base and sides. Pour any excess back into the pan (don't worry for now if there are dribbles around the top of the dish).
Warning: This is a tricky moment, and liquid caramel is burning hot and very dangerous. It is wise to keep young children well clear, and to protect your hands with oven gloves while handling the ramekins (not like I am doing in the photos).
Do this with all the ramekins.
Pour the mixture through a strainer, preferably over a high-sided container, to remove the bits of vanilla pod.
Leave to rest 10 minutes, then skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
Place the ramekins in a large, deep baking sheet, then fill them with cream and put in the oven. Pour boiling water into the tray, then close the oven door and leave to cook around 40 minutes.
Check that the creams are cooked, like testing a cake, then remove from the oven and leave at least an hour to cool to room temperature.
Then refrigerate overnight.
Serve by turning out onto dessert plates or dishes. Overnight the caramel will have liquified, and will now run down over the cream.
Remove from the fridge an hour before serving if possible so that the cream is not too cold.
Remarks:You will notice that this cream uses whole eggs. This makes it firmer than the cream used for crème brulée for example, so that it can be turned out easily.
If you make this dessert for your children or grandchildren, you'll find there's no more talk of desserts from packet mixes.
Last modified on: February 21th 2011