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Crème caramel

Crème caramel
Crème caramel (upside-down caramel cream) is a classic of bistro cuisine. The vanilla cream is made with eggs, cooked in a dish with a layer of caramel in the bottom, and placed in a bain-marie. It's traditionally served turned out so that the liquid caramel runs down over the cream.
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Last modified on: February 21th 2011

For 8 people, you will need:

Change those ingredients for: 4 people 8 people 16 people 24 people

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
43 min.2 hours 10 min.40 min.3 hours 33 min.
Keeping: Several days in the fridge, covered by a plastic film.
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  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 15 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #1
Prepare a light caramel with 150 g caster sugar.

Please note: It's important that the caramel should be light and not dark as it will continue cooking during the rest of the process, and so risk becoming overcooked and bitter.

Stage 2 - 2 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #2
Pour a little liquid caramel into the bottom of a ramekin...

Stage 3 - 1 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #3
... 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).

Stage 4 - 10 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #4
Do this with all the ramekins.

Stage 5 - 10 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #5
Pour 1 litre milk into a pan with 1 vanilla pod, scraped to remove the small black seeds inside, and bring to the boil over medium heat.

Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F), and boil a kettle (or large pan) of water.

Stage 6 - 5 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #6
Meanwhile pour 200 g caster sugar into a bowl and add 6 eggs. Mix well with a maryse.

Pour the boiling milk over, and beat to mix.

Stage 7 - 10 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #7
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.

Stage 8 - 40 min.
Crème caramel : Photo of step #8
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.

Stage 9 - 2 hours
Crème caramel : Photo of step #9
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.

Stage 10
Crème caramel : Photo of step #10
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.


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.

Nutritional information

% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

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Note : These prices are only approximate

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Home made.

More recipes?

This recipe uses (among others)
MilkMilk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Pan-baked hash brown (Hash-brown casserole), Chocolate cream, Crème brulée, Two-cheese quiche, Pretzels, ... All
Caster sugarCaster sugar: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Buckwheat almond biscuits, Stewed apple (compote), Flaked almond tart, Eggs meurette, Blackcurrant liqueur, ... All
EggEgg: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: "Oeufs rabattus" with leeks, Half-cooked chocolate cake with raspberry coulis, Lime (or lemon) curd, Cramique, Fish in a seed crust, ... All
Vanilla podVanilla pod: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Confectioner's custard (Crème pâtissière, or French pastry cream), Blackcurrant, vanilla and lime verrine , How to use a vanilla pod effectively, Rice pudding (riz au lait), Coconut-vanilla cream for Elsa , ... All

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