Ingredients (for 4 servings)
For the caramel
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon water
1½ / 2 tablespoons hot water
For the crème caramel
250 ml milk
5 tablespoons sugar
Soft butter (for greasing the ramekins)
Grease the ramekins with soft butter. This will allow the crème caramel to be removed easily.
Prepare the caramel: pour the sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat over a medium heat.
Swirl the pan to melt the sugar. Let it cook until the mixture is lightly coloured.
Allow to caramelise and remove the pan from the heat. Quickly add hot water 2-3 times with a long-handled ladle. Keep the pan away from the body to prevent the caramel from splashing and causing burns. Swirl the pan to mix the hot caramel well.
Pour the caramel into the ramekins.
Prepare the egg mixture for the crème caramel. Break 2 eggs into a bowl. Stir a little with a whisk. Keep the tip of the whisk at the bottom to avoid creating too many bubbles.
Add the milk and sugar to a saucepan. Heat it up. Stir with a spatula until the sugar has dissolved. Add the milk to the beaten eggs and continue to stir vigorously.
Pass the egg mixture through a fine sieve. Scrape the bottom of the sieve with a spatula. Remove the foam from the surface with a spoon. Pour the egg mixture into a container with a spout to make pouring easy, and pour it into the ramekins.
Cover each ramekin with aluminium foil. The foil will prevent the surface of the cream from drying out and will also allow the cream to cook evenly. Heat the water in a saucepan and carefully place the ramekins in it. A tea towel placed on the bottom will limit the heat. There should be enough water to come half way up the sides of the ramekins.
Keep the water temperature just below boiling and cook for 18-20 minutes.
Do not let the water boil otherwise the caramels will lose their soft texture. Wear heat-resistant gloves to remove the ramekins from the pan. Allow to cool and then place them in the fridge.
To turn out each caramel, run the point of a sharp knife around the border of each ramekin, place a dessert plate on top and invert. Give the ramekin and plate a sharp shake and carefully remove the ramekin. The dessert is now ready to be served.