This classic is a rich and creamy - but not too heavy - custard on a layer of caramelised sugar. The secret is long cooking (1 hour) at relatively low temperature and very careful caramelizing of the sugar! Make sure that the melted sugar doesn't burn.
400ml thickened cream
6 egg yolks
6 tablespoons (120g) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
150g white sugar for the caramel layer
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Heat the cream and milk in a pot, let it boil briefly and then let cool.
Place 6 egg yolks, 6 tablespoons sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and mix softly with a whisk. Be careful not to produce any foam! (Foam would lead to bubbles in the crème caramel later.) Stir in the cream-milk-mixture carefully. Set aside.
Place 150g white sugar in a small pot and melt on low heat. You can add 1 teaspoon water. When sugar is melted and still light brown, pour it into 6 ramekins (approx 100 ml each). Pour custard cream carefully on top. Be careful not to pour too fast, since this would create a mould in the caramel.
Place the cups into a large baking tray, carefully pour boiling water into the tray so that the cups stand 2 fingers wide in hot water. Be careful not to spill water into the cups.
Place the baking tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake the creme caramel for one hour. Remove cups from baking tray, let chill and place into fridge for 4-6 hours. To serve, run a small sharp knife around the edge of each bowl and turn upside down on plates or bowls.