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November 14, 2019


This is the dessert of my childhood and still one of my favorites. Actually, anything with caramel is on my list of favorites. But there is something about the silkiness of the custard and the puddle of caramel it rests in that is simply luscious.

The first time I made it I was surprised that it worked, and how it worked seemed magical.

The caramel that you are instructed to pour into the bottom of the custard cups becomes so hard it becomes part of the cup. On top of that you pour the liquid cream mixture. Once it is baked and refrigerated, something amazing happens. When you take this mixture out of the cup, it has transformed: the caramel has become liquid and the cream has solidified into a custard. What is surprising isn’t that the heat has transformed the crème into a custard or that the caramel melts when heated. The magic is that once it is cooled and refrigerated, it doesn’t solidify again.

What I love about cooking is the unexpected results. I know there are explanations, but I don’t need to understand the science; all I care about is what happens and it’s delicious.

The appearance of a little magic is always welcome.

How about you?
Where do you find the unexpected magic in your life?

Try the recipe for yourself and let me know what you think.

* REMEMBER—the recipes only seem long because I explain them in detail. Please read the recipe before starting; it makes cooking so much easier!

Crème Caramel or Caramel Custard

Prep time: 30 minutes                                           Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cool 2-3 hours before serving
350° preheat oven
Serves 8

I made this in eight 6 oz. oven-safe custard cups but you can make it in one large oven-safe bowl.

3/4 of a cup of sugar for the caramel
4 eggs
3/4 of a cup sugar for the custard
3 cups whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt

  1. Have your custard cups ready to fill as soon as your caramel is ready. Or use a 1 1/2 to 2-quart ovenproof baking dish.
  2. Place 3/4 cup of sugar into a heavy saucepan over medium heat and let the sugar melt. I stir it with a wooden spoon until it has melted and starts to turn brown. Do not let it get too dark or burn. Remove from the stove immediately.
  3. Pour into eight 6 oz. oven-safe custard cups dividing evenly between them. Tilt the cups to make certain you cover the bottom of the cups evenly. Or pour into the large ovenproof dish.
*Note: the caramel will harden quickly so you need to pour it into the containers quickly.
  1. Prepare a large roasting pan that the custard cups will fit into or the ovenproof baking dish. Optional: place a folded dishtowel on the bottom of the pan and place the custard cups on top of it. This helps prevent the cups from moving around when you add the water.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the eggs, milk, vanilla, salt, and sugar until it is well mixed but don’t let it get bubbly as it will alter the consistency of the custard.
  3. If the cream isn’t smooth, pour it through a sieve into a large pitcher. This will eliminate any bubbles, ensuring that the custard is silky smooth.
  4. Either pour the cream into the custard cups with the pitcher or use a ladle to pour the cream into each cup.
  5. Pour simmering water into the roasting pan (this is known as bain-marie), so it comes halfway up the side of the cups. Do not use boiling water as it will cause the custard to cook unevenly.
  6. Bake in the lower half of your 350° oven for 30 to 35 minutes. Test to see if the custard is done by inserting a toothpick into the center of the custard if it comes out clean the custard is done.
  7. Remove the custard cups from the pan and let them cool on a wire rack for 1 hour
  8. Refrigerate for 2 hours or more.
  9. To serve, use a sharp knife and slide it all around the inside of each cup. Place your plate over the cup and gently turn it over. You may need to slightly jiggle the cup until the custard releases and the caramel sauce pours out on the plate.

This is a surprisingly simple and easy dessert that is delicious. Make it for yourself as a treat or invite a few friends over and make it for them. They’ll thank you.

Here is a little reminder if you are testing a recipe:

Can you tell me:

Was it understandable?
Did I omit something?
Was it easy to follow?
Did the recipe turn out?
Is there anything you’d change?
Did you like it?
Would you make it again?

Also, don’t let the length of the recipes intimidate you. They may seem long, but that is only to ensure that everything is explained.

Before you start cooking, there are two steps you should take. I highly recommend that you:

  1. Read the entire recipe before starting. Trust me, it makes cooking so much easier—I learned this the hard way.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten halfway through a recipe to read “let it marinate overnight.” What! I’m making this for tonight, not tomorrow! And I’m left improvising the rest of the recipe.

  1. Do what chef’s do before they start cooking. Get everything ready: all your utensils, tools, and ingredients measured, peeled, cut, and sliced. It is called mise en place, a French term meaning set in place. This step has actually made cooking easier.

Once all the ingredients are prepared and ready, I can start cooking without having to pause to prepare the next ingredients. And I don’t forget to include something because it is already waiting for me to include it.

If you’d like, there are more recipes you can test (CLICK HERE)

You can answer the questions either in the comments or if you prefer you can email me at


One more thing: if you know anyone who you think would like to test a recipe, please send this on to them. The more the merrier.


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