Traditional crème caramels can be belly-achingly rich. Made with less sweetness and with a blend of milk and cream (as well as protein-rich eggs), these caramels are not only lighter, I think they taste better too. Using honey for the caramel top adds a delicious, fragrant twist.
150g (5 tbsp) honey, plus 2 tbsp extra
150g (150ml) pouring (pure) cream
450g (450ml) milk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthways
2 egg yolks
Boiling water, for baking
- Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan). Place 6 ovenproof ramekins (200ml capacity) into a large baking dish.
- Place honey into a medium heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until deep golden.
- Carefully pour honey into prepared ramekins. Swirl honey to coat bases and sides of ramekins, then return to baking dish.
- Combine cream, milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan. Cook over a low-medium heat until mixture almost boils. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Whisk eggs, yolks and extra honey in a large heat-proof bowl. Gradually whisk in warm cream mixture until combined. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a large jug. Pour evenly into each prepared ramekin.
- Pour enough boiling water into baking dish to come halfway up the sides of ramekins (see Tip). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until just set (they should still have a slight wobble). Remove from water bath and allow to cool for approx. 30 minutes. Once cooled, place into refrigerator overnight.
- Carefully run a knife around edge of each crème caramel and turn out onto plates to serve.
- Set aside a large baking dish and 6 ovenproof ramekins (200 ml capacity; ensure all ramekins fit comfortably in baking dish).
- Place honey into mixing bowl and cook 30 min/Varoma/speed 1, without measuring cup, until dark golden.
- Carefully pour honey into prepared ramekins. Swirl honey to coat bases and sides of ramekins, then place into baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan).
- Without cleaning mixing bowl, place cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds into mixing bowl and heat 4 min/80°C/speed 1.
- Transfer into a jug and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean pod. Clean and dry mixing bowl.
- Place eggs, egg yolks and 2 tablespoons extra honey into mixing bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 3, then mix 30 sec/speed 3, slowly pouring warm milk mixture through hole in mixing bowl lid.
- Pour mixture evenly between prepared ramekins (see Tip). Follow steps 6 and 7 above.
The reason for cooking these crème caramels in a water bath (also known as a bain-marie) is that it creates a more uniform and gentle heat, so they cook more evenly and don’t overheat.
If you would like a richer creme caramel, simply use more cream (such as an additional 100ml) and reduce the milk by the same amount.