Test Kitchen tips
You will have a great sense of achievement once you have mastered crème caramel. Home cooks are usually concerned about the caramel but don’t fret – it’s not as tricky as you think. Use a solid heavy-based pan over medium heat. After the mixture has been stirred, the sugar dissolved and the mixture is boiling, don’t leave it – watch it carefully. As soon as you see some browning, tilt the pan until the brown areas merge. Keep tilting and turning the pan until the caramel is a rich golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat, let the bubbles disappear, then pour the caramel over the base and one-third of the way up the side of the cake pan. There is no need to grease the side of the cake pan. It is important to refrigerate the crème caramel for 12 to 24 hours, to allow the caramel to break down and liquefy. You’ll get at least 95 per cent of the caramel out of the pan. When you’re ready to turn the crème caramel out, use your fingers to ease it away from the side of the pan, gently wriggle the pan and you’ll “feel” the custard floating on the caramel. Put the serving plate on top of the cake pan and then quickly turn it upside down.