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Best Caramel Creme Custard Recipes from Around the World
Caramel custard pudding, Crème caramel, caramel flan, or simply caramel pudding is a custard dessert featuring a layer of soft caramel on top. This is similar to the crème brûlée, which has a hard caramel top.
The dish is eaten throughout the world. It is usually cooked in the oven in a large bowl or smaller serving bowls surrounded by water in a baking dish (water bath) or in a bain-marie on a stove top.
When cooked the dessert is turned out onto a plate by inverting the bowl leaving the delicious caramel sauce on top and the custard below. The alternate French name "crème caramel renversée" captures this process.
Below is a collection of many delightful variations of caramel custard made throughout the world.
Sri Lankan Watalappan Caramel Dessert Recipe
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 free range eggs
- 2 cardamom pods, bruised
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 200 ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
- 110 g (4 oz) jaggery (unrefined sugar), grated; or sugar
- 25 (1 oz) g unsalted roasted cashews, halved, plus extra roughly chopped, to serve
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Place jaggery (or sugar), spices, coconut milk and vanilla in a small saucepan over and mix well. Heat while stirring over low heat for 4 minutes to dissolve the sugar and make the caramel sauce. Set aside to allow to cool down to room temperature. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until creamy and pale. Add the coconut milk mixture and whisk again to combine thoroughly. Strain the mixture into a jug using a fine sieve. Pour the mixture into 4 moulds and put onto the base of a large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the pan to extend halfway up the sides of moulds. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes. Remove the pan, and sprinkle a few cashews on top of each dessert. Transfer the pan back into the oven and cook for another 10 minutes. The desserts shown be just set and a little wobbly rather than fully firm. Remove the dessert from the pan, allow to cook and then refrigerate for 2 hours. Sprinkle with coconut and extra cashews before serving cold.
Filipino Leche Flan Recipe
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 6 free range eggs
- 395 g (14 oz) can condensed milk
- 375 ml can evaporated milk (1 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (355 degrees F). Place the sugar in a dry saucepan and cook over moderate heat, while swirling once or twice, but not stirring, for 3-5 minutes. The sugar will darken in color and caramelize. Be careful not to burn the sugar. Pour into a llanera (a shallow, oval-shaped leche flan pan or a shallow ceramic bake-proof dish). You can also use individual serving dishes. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and then blend in the evaporated and condensed milk, until the mixture is well combined. Strain the mixture using a fine sieve and pour into the pan or serving bowls. Cover tightly with foil. Place the pan or bowls into a baking dish and pour in boiling water until the water level reach half-way up the pan or bowls. Bake for 50-75 minutes or until the dessert is just firm. Remove from the oven, set aside to cool and then refrigerate. To serve, run a knife around the flan and invert the pan or bowl onto a serving dish. For a large leche flan, cut into slices and serve.
Modern Crème Caramel Recipe with Cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3 free range eggs
- 1/2 cup extra caster sugar
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C (320 degrees F. Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and dissolve the sugar while stirring over low heat. Raise the heat and boil slowly until the mixture goes golden brown in color. Pour into an 18 cm (7 inch) diameter heat-proof ceramic dish or 6 individual moulds. Swirl the moulds while holding with a cloth to coat the sides as well as the base with caramel. Set aside to cool. Scald the milk and cream , to which the vanilla bean has been added. Strain and cool the mixture slightly. Using a medium size bowl, Whisk the eggs, extra sugar and egg yolks until well mixed. While stirring continually, gradually add the milk mixture to the eggs. When combined strain the custard mixture through a fine sieve and then pour it into the large or small set of moulds. Place in a baking dish and fill with boiling water until the level reaches halfway up the sides of the moulds. Bake the small moulds for 40-45 minutes, or the single large one for 50–65 minutes, until the custard is set. Test by inserting a skewer into the custard near the center. The custard is cooked when the skewer comes out clean. Chill the desserts in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. To serve, flip the bowls upside down onto serving plates and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
Dark Creme Caramel Recipe
For the Caramel
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 175 g (6 oz) golden caster sugar
For the Custard
- 150 ml ( 5 fl oz) milk
- 4 large free range eggs
- 275 ml (9 fl oz) single cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 40 g ( 1 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Make the caramel by heating the dry golden caster sugar in a saucepan over moderate heat without stirring. Watch the sugar and after 4-6 minutes the sugar will start to melt and become liquid around the edges. Sake the pan once and keep heating until about one quarter of the sugar has melted. Then, use a wooden spoon to gently stir the sugar, until all the sugar crystals have melted. Keep cooking and gently stirring occasionally until the sugar liquid darkens to the colour of golden syrup or a very dark honey. Next, take the pan off the heat and add 2 tablespoons of warm water. Mix to combine and then quickly pour the caramel liquid into the base of a soufflé dish or 4 small ceramic serving dishes. To make the custard pour the cream and milk into another saucepan and heat until steaming hot. While the milk is heating, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and brown sugar in a large bowl. Pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to combine well. Pour the custard on top of the caramel in the soufflé dish or serving pans and transfer to a baking dish. Pour warm water around the dishes until the level extends half-way up the sides. Bake for 60 minutes until the custard is set in the center and then set aside to cool and then refrigerate. To serve, loosen the custard from the pan sides using a knife and invert onto a serving plate. Serve by cutting the large flan into pieces and topping with a little fresh cream.
Mexican Baked Caramel Custard Flan Recipe
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 free range eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
- sliced fruit for serving (Strawberries, Kiwi fruit slices or other fruit)
Heat 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan until it melts and turns brown in color. Remove from heat and quickly pour into a soufflé dish pour. Swirl the caramel around so that it coats the bottom and sides of the dish. Next lightly beat or whisk the eggs in a medium-size bowl and then mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the orange peel and mix well. Pour the caramel mixture on top of the caramel in the dish. Place the dish in a baking dish and pour very hot water into the pan to a depth about 2/3 the way up the side of the dish. Bake at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C) for 60-75 minutes until the custard is cooked. Cool the dessert for several hours oruntil the next day, before serving by inverting the flan onto a serving plate and topping with fresh fruit pieces.
Orange Caramel Custard Recipe
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of caster sugar
- 3 whole free range eggs, plus 3 yolks
- 500 ml (2 pints) of freshly squeezed orange juice
Make the caramel in a small heavy frying pan by melt the dry sugar over moderate heat. When the sugar starts to melt, start stirring with a wooden spoon until all the sugar has melted and caramelized a rich dark brown color. Next, take the pan off the heat and add 3-4 tablespoons of water. Stir over a low heat until the mixture forms a dark, thick syrup. Pour this caramel into individual moulds, a soufflé dish or a shallow ceramic heat-proof dish. Preheat the oven to 160 C (329 degrees F). Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until well mixed and then beat in the orange juice. Pour the mixture on top of the caramel in the dish of dishes. Place the dishes into a baking dish and pour in enough water to that the level comes half-way up each dish. The small ones will require 25-30 minutes, the large one 45-50 minutes to cook. Allow to cool and then pass a knife around the rim of each dish and invert the custards over serving plates. Serve with fresh mint leaves and a tablespoon of whipped cream.
Spanish Caramel Custard Recipe
- 1/2 Orange
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 1/2 cups Whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- butter (for greasing the dish)
- 3 large fresh range, plus 2 egg yolks
Pour the milk into a saucepan and add the vanilla extract and orange rind. Bring the milk to the boil. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup of sugar. Set aside for 30-45 minutes to infuse the flavors. Add the remaining sugar to another saucepan over medium high heat. Once the sugar has melted, add the water and let it boil without stirring until it becomes deep golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze in some orange juice. Mix and then pour the caramel into a lightly buttered 5-cup size soufflé dish. Swirl the caramel around to coat the base and sides, and set the dish aside. To make the custard, return the pan of infused milk, prepared previously to the heat and warm it. Beat or whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks together in a bowl, add the warm milk to the eggs while mixing. Strain the mixture and pour into soufflé dish containing the caramel. Place the soufflé dish in a baking pan and add enough boiling water so that it extends half-way up the sides of the dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 C (320 degrees F) for 65-75 minutes until the custard is set. Remove the soufflé dish from the roasting pan, cool completely and then refrigerate overnight. To serve, run a knife around the perimeter invert the soufflé dish onto a serving plate.
Thai Style Coconut Creme Caramel Recipe
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 large free range eggs
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- olive oil for greasing the small dishes or ramekins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (160 degrees C). Lightly grease the ramekins or small oven-proof dishes with oil. Beat or whisk the eggs until fluffy. Add the salt and maple syrup (or sugar) and coconut milk and mix well until well blended. Pour about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup into each ramekin and swirl to coat the base and sides. Next carefully pour the egg mixture into each ramekin on top of the maple syrup, without stirring. Put the ramekins into a large baking dish to which enough hot water has been added to half-submerge the dishes. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the pudding comes out clean. Allow to cool and then refrigerate for several hours or over night. To serve overturn the ramekins onto individual serving plates and top with coconut and fresh mint leaves.
A Perfect Creme Caramel Recipe for a Perfect Day
For the creme / custard
- 1 vanilla pod
- 500 ml (1 pint) whole milk
- 100 g (3.5 oz) caster sugar
- 2 free range eggs, plus 4 yolks
For the caramel
- 60 g (2 oz) soft dark brown sugar
- 60 g (2 oz) caster sugar
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F). Grease six ramekins tins or similar with a little butter. Add the milk to a small saucepan. Slice the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into the milk, and add the pods as well. Add the pod to the milk as well. Bring the milk to the boil, then lower heat and simmer for a few minutes. Then, turn off the heat and set aside covered.
To make the caramel sauce, place the two sugar portions into a deep saucepan and barely cover with water. Heat the saucepan over gentle heat until the water starts to simmer. Cook gently until the sauce thickens, browns and becomes a caramel syrupy. Check to ensure it has the right consistency by spooning a small amount on a cold plate. If it sets, it is ready. Pour the caramel evenly into the moulds and swirl to cover the base and sides. Set the pans aside.
To make the custard, place the 2 eggs and 4 yolks into a heatproof bowl, and whisk well. Add the sugar slowly, whisking gently to just mix together. Next, remove the vanilla pods from the milk and gradually pour it into the bowl, while mixing. Set aside for 15 minutes to allow the custard to begin setting. Skim any foam or 'skin' off the top of the custard. Then, pour the custard through a sieve into the ramekins and cover each one with foil and seal.
To cook, place the ramekins in a baking tin and pour in enough boiling water to come about two-thirds the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, covered with foil, and another 12-15 minutes with the foil removed. The cooking is complete when the custard has just set, but is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Remove the ramekins to cool and then chill in the refrigerator.
To serve, slip a knife around the outside of each mould and turn upside down onto plates. Top with fresh mint leaves and a little extra caramel.
© 2015 Dr. John Anderson