April, 2011 – Megan Miln

Caramelising sugar

Last week, I picked up some cute little blue and white ramekins. I’ve wanted dessert-size ramekins for a while, and have been fantasising about all the wonderful desserts I’ll be able to make now I have some. I knew the first thing I had to make was a French custard-based dessert, but there are so many to choose from: crème brûlée, petits pots de crème, crème caramel.

After much indecision, I settled on crème caramel. But that meant caramelising sugar; something I have never done before, and have always been a bit scared of.


My first attempt did not go well. The recipe called for 2/3 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water, shaken in a saucepan until it caramelised. Instead of caramel, I ended up with a solid white lump stuck to bottom of my saucepan (which, thankfully, dissolved in hot water).

I turned to YouTube for help, and for my second attempt decided to try caramelising just the sugar without any water. With just sugar in the saucepan, I watched with amazement as it started to melt around the edges, and eventually became a pool of golden brown liquid. I had just made caramel for the first time!