· 160g/6oz sugar· unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins· 4 free-range eggs· 1 tsp vanilla extract· 25g/1oz caster sugar· 600ml/1 pint full-fat milk· pouring cream, to serve
Step 1Pre-heat oven 150C/300F/Gas 2. Warm the ramekins in the oven, so they are warm when the caramel is poured in.Step 2First make the caramel. Pour the sugar and six tablespoons of water into a clean stainless steel pan.Step 3Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over a low heat.Step 4When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark copper colour.Step 5Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed ramekins.Step 6Set aside to cool and become hard. (Do not put in the fridge because the sugar will absorb moisture and go soft and tacky).Step 7Once hard, butter the sides of the ramekins above the level of the caramel.Step 8For the custard, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and caster sugar together in a bowl until well mixed.Step 9Pour the milk into a saucepan, gently heat over a low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl.Step 10Whisk together until smooth, then pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins.Step 11Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle.Step 12Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the custard has set. Do not overcook the custard – check around the edges of the dishes, to make sure no bubbles are appearing.Step 13Take the crème caramels out of the oven, remove the ramekins from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.Step 14To serve, loosen the sides of the custard by tipping the ramekin and loosen with a small palette knife round the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the ramekin and turn upside down. Serve with pouring cream.