Crème Caramel: No Oven Recipe

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Crème Caramel: No Oven Recipe

Crème caramel, flan, caramel pudding or caramel custard – this dessert has various names but one absolute taste. The classic French dessert is a soft and wobbly cooked custard with a caramel layer on top. 

Crème Caramel is of French origin, where a custard mixture is prepared and baked. The custard is usually poured over a set layer of sugar caramel, which, when demoulded, comes on top. The hard caramel, followed by soft custard, makes for a delicious dessert. 

Originally, the dessert was baked in the oven; however, today, the recipe I’m sharing can be made using a stovetop. The method used here will involve no oven. Instead, it is made on a stove with the help of a frying pan. The reason I’m sharing the method for no oven is because there can be situations where you are unable to use the oven at that moment. 

The only difference between the original method and this is that we won’t be flipping the flan out of the mould. That means the caramel layer in this method is added on top after the custard is baked. 

Creme Caramel Video Tutorial

Why You’ll Love This Recipe? 

  • No-oven Method: There could be days (bad days, I must say!) when your oven is not working, or there are some technical faults. This shouldn’t be the reason for you to stop baking your favourite desserts. One must know alternative methods as well. That is why this recipe is excellent, as we will not be using an oven but a frying pan and stove top for making it. 
  • Delicious Taste: The crème caramel dessert has an amazing vanilla custard flavour with delightful caramel on top. The combination of the two makes for an all-time favourite dessert. 
  • No De-moulding: The crucial part of the crème caramel is the de-moulding part. There are no things that can go wrong. The custard may break, or the caramel can get stuck, etc. However, using this method will eliminate these risky points. We will not de-mould the flan, and the caramel layer will be on top. 

Important Ingredients Used In The Recipe

  • Sugar: Castor sugar is used in both custard as well as caramel. It brings the right sweetness and texture needed. 
  • Heavy Cream: The custard is rich and creamy as there is heavy cream in it. I prefer using heavy cream with at least 35% fat as it provides a great taste. 
  • Eggs: The eggs help the custard be fluffy. Also, when cooked or baked, the eggs thicken to bind all ingredients together so that the custard is set. 
  • Milk: I use whole cream milk instead of skimmed or toned due to the richness and fat it provides. If you want, you may use the other variant milk. 
  • Vanilla Essence: The custard has vanilla as the base flavour. Vanilla essence also helps eliminate the taste and smell of eggs from the dessert. 

How To Make Crème Caramel

Preparation: Gather and measure all ingredients needed to make the custard and caramel layer. Keep ramekins ready as well. 

Method For Custard

Boil Custard Mixture: In a heavy bottom saucepan, take milk, heavy cream, sugar and vanilla essence. Stir and start heating it. Bring it to a boil. 

Beat Eggs: While the custard is boiling, start beating eggs in a bowl using a whisk. 

Add Custard Mixture to Eggs: Once the mixture gets to a boil, remove from heat and gradually add it to the beaten eggs while mixing continuously. 

Pour in Moulds: Now pour this custard mixture into the ramekins and cover the top with aluminium foil. 

Bake: Prepare a frying pan by placing kitchen towels at the bottom of it. Keep the ramekins on the towels and add water till 3/4th level of ramekins. Cover it with a lid and Put it on medium flame. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat setting. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit in the steam for 10 minutes with the lid on.

Cool: Now remove the moulds from the frying pan and keep aside to cool. 

Method For Caramel

Cook Sugar: Take water and sugar in a saucepan and cook this until it reaches an amber colour. Use medium heat to cook. 

Add Hot Water: Once the sugar caramelises and reaches a dark amber colour, turn off the heat and add hot water. Stir and cook it for a few minutes.

Method For Assembly 

Add Caramel: Once the caramel is ready, add it on top of the cooked and cooled custard. 

Cool: Let the caramel layer set and serve. 

Chef’s Tips For The Recipe

Whisk Custard Continuously

While adding the custard mix to the eggs, make sure to whisk continuously. Not whisking may lead to eggs getting cooked, and there would be lumps in the custard. 

Work Carefully When Making Caramel

Caramel is tricky to make, and a slight drop of it can give bad burns. Work carefully when making the caramel. Use gloves if possible. 

How To Store Crème Caramel 

It is recommended to serve the dessert immediately once prepared. If you want to store it, you need to cover and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my crème caramel taste bitter? 

There can be two reasons for the dessert to taste bitter. One, the caramel made was too dark that it almost tastes burnt. Look for dark amber colour only, neither too light nor too dark. 
The other reason could be the excess vanilla essence in the custard. Adding too much vanilla can lead to a bitter taste. 

Is Crème Brulée and crème caramel same? 

No, the two desserts are different but have similar taste components. Crème Brulée is made using thick and rich custard with a thin sugar layer on top, which is burnt using a blow gun. 

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Crème Caramel: No Oven Recipe

Crème Caramel in a frying pan: Now make a classic French dessert at the ease of home using a frying pan and stovetop.

  • Total Time: 40 to 50 minutes



For Custard

  • 2 Eggs
  • 30 g Castor sugar
  • 1.5 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 150 g Heavy cream

For Caramel

  • 50 g Castor sugar
  • 20 ml Water
  • 50 ml Hot water


For Custard

  1. Heat milk, heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla essence in a saucepan and boil it. Use medium heat to boil.
  2. In the meantime, beat eggs with the help of a whisk.
  3. Now, gradually add the milk mixture to the egg while continuously whisking the eggs.
  4. Pour this mixture into ramekin moulds and cover with aluminium foil.
  5. Now, in a frying pan, place kitchen towels at the bottom, place the ramekin moulds on them, add hot water to 3/4th level of moulds and cover with a lid.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes on medium heat setting. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let it sit in the steam for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  7. Carefully remove the moulds from hot water and keep them aside to cool.

For Caramel

  1. Put 20 ml water and sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar caramelises. 
  2. When it reaches an amber colour, turn off the heat and add hot water. 
  3. Cook for a few minutes. 

For Assembly

  1. Add the caramel to the ramekin moulds on top of the cooked and cooled custard preparation.
  2. Let it set for some time and then serve.
  • Author: Chef Mansi
  • Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

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