Childhood memories of Creme Caramel

I remember as a kid begging mum to make Creme Caramels. Dad would join in, clearly is a fan of dessert he has been known to order dessert at a restaurant even if know one else is joining in. Our enthusiasm was met with protest. “Do you know how difficult it is to get the caramel right? They are so fiddly”, protested Mum. Little did we care, the thoughts of sticky, burnt caramel flowing over the rich creamy custard was worth the begging to convince Mum.

With the inspiration of left over egg yolks from Saturdays Lemon Friands, I decide it is time to see how fiddly they are to make. After telling Damo how wonderful they are and surely I would have no issues, I set to work following the recipe to the gram. How foolish I was, considering myself quite the accomplished home cook!

Attempt one, disaster! Sugar and water would not go brown, reduced to a white candied mess that set like a rock. I here Mum’s protest loud and clear! “It must be the sugar”, says Damo, in an attempt to appease me. Well, I never….

Attempt two, double check and off we go again. 5 mins to dissolve sugar and 5 to 8 minutes to caramelise, well so the recipe says. Almost 15mins later, with a light brown tinge and a scalding hot reduced bubbly thick sugar mix, I decide it must go brown in the oven.

Sometime later, I turn one of the heavenly custards out on the plate. Shock horror. It is confirmed  I can’t make Creme Caramel. Damo eats it and again to make me feel somewhat less adequate grabs another and tells me it is like very sweet custard.

My anticipation of this French classic dessert met with total disappointment.

The lesson here, always listen to your mother, even if at the time it seems that you know better!

I will not be discouraged and will be researching and trying again soon. Surely if Mum can make these so can I, after all she taught me to cook!


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