When it comes to dessert, one of my favourite types has to be of the creamy and custard variety. I love the rich, smooth, and most of the time, cold refreshing taste of a nicely cooked custard.

I've always had my questions about creme caramel. Is it the same thing as flan? Does it actually just slip out of the ramekin? Does the caramel sauce not mingle and bleed into the custard when you pour the custard into the ramekin and bake it? To answer these questions, I finally decided to try to make it. (P.S. apparently flan and creme caramel are synonymous, but that depends on who you ask...)

This was my first time making a caramel as well. I burnt the first batch, and made the entire house smell like burnt caramel. Luckily, everyone was still sleeping at 7:30am, so no questions were asked. I think I was overly cautious when making the second batch, because it looked a lot lighter than what the picture showed in the cookbook. I always like to err on the side of caution.

After baking the custard and refrigerating it overnight, it was tasting time. After running a knife around the rim of each ramekin, the creme caramel slipped perfectly out of it's container onto the serving plate. I was also rewarded with a beautiful pool of golden caramel sauce spilling over the sides of the custard. I felt such a sense of accomplishment after my first spoonful. The custard was perfect with the intensely sweeet caramel sauce. Loved every bite of it. So did everybody else, because alas, no leftovers were to be had.

This a perfect make-ahead dessert, as well as a great summer dessert, because of it's refreshingly cold taste. The only drawback it that it takes about an hour in the oven, so this might discourage anyone whose hometown is currently experiencing a summer heatwave (like us Torontonians). But, you know, will you keep this one in mind? For later?

Creme Caramel
Adapted from "the best of Cooking Light"

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
1. Lightly coat six 6-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.
2. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar.
3. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until golden. This takes about 10 minutes. Don't burn it!!
4. Quickly divide the caramel among the six ramekins, tilting each to fully coat the bottom. Set aside.

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well blended and smooth.
3. Stir in sugar and vanilla extract until well mixed.
4. Divide mixture evenly among prepared ramekins.
5. Place ramekins in a baking pan and add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramkins.
6. Bake for 50 minutes. They are done when a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7. Remove ramekins from pan, and cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
8. Run a knife around the edges of each ramekin to loosen. Invert onto a serving plate.