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~ Crème Caramel -- The Ultimate Custard Dessert ~

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c754963a970bCrème caramel is a sophisticated dessert that is eaten around the world, but, was made famous in the later part of the 20th century in French restaurants.  It is a silky-smooth custard that is gently baked/steamed in a caramel-coated mold or in individual porcelain ramekins.  When slightly warm or room temperature the delicate custard is turned out onto its serving plate.  It emerges elegantly-glazed and exquisitely-sauced with the caramel from the bottom of the mold.

In the French language, the word crème means custard. 

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d0dddc37970cIn French, crème means custard.  It's worth mentioning that making crème caramel in individual-sized ramekin is much easier than turning out one larger sized one, as the fragile custard easily splits.  Large ones also require more care to avoid undercooking the interior or overcooking the exterior.  The objective is to obtain a homogeneous and smooth crème on the surface of the with a liquid caramel base.  For that reason, cooking either size in a water bath (bain-marie) is essential to the success of the dessert, as  cooking it in a bain-marie avoids burning the caramel.

Crème caramel is the direct opposite of its rustic cousin, crème brûlée, which is a similarly-baked custard with a hard caramel shell on the top that is served and eaten directly out of the vessel in which it is baked.  In France, crème caramel is also referred to as "crème renversee", in Italy it is called "crèma caramella", and, if you're in Spain, it is "flan" you are looking for.  It's an exquisite dessert that comes with a built-in elegant presentation.  When prepared using individual ramekins, it is conveniently portioned as well, so serving it is a dream come true.

Try my recipe for The Ultimate Silky Smooth Crème Caramel:

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c7548b4e970b"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2022


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