Guest Recipe: Crème Caramel (Purin)

This has been a LONG week. I’m such a party-pooper since cancelled my trip to Provence this weekend en famille for my mother-in-law’s (belle maman) 70th Birthday Party. Just the thought of the TGV train and car trips back and forward is trop – too much.  The back/sacrum has played up so much that, if I sit longer than 30 minutes a stretch, I turn into a chair – just like that!

Just like that – my good friend, Nami (Namiko), author of her blog, Just One Cookbook, came to the rescue with the most perfect and best crème caramel recipe I’ve ever seen. I should say Purin recipe, as Nami is Japanese and lives with her husband (who is her blog assistant – what a team!) and gorgeous children in San Francisco.

For those of you who know Nami, I’m sure you will agree:  she not only has an amazing blog with perfect Japanese recipes and stunning presentations, but she is also one of the most genuine and sincere people I know. When you receive a comment from Nami, you can’t help feeling the need to leap out the screen and hug her for offering such encouragement.

I’m sure many of you know what I mean.  Blogging is fun but it’s also time-consuming: often when you post something into the great empty void of the w-w-web, there is nothing that can beat an adorable comment to prove that someone has not only read it, but actually liked it!  It’s what keeps the essential motivation going.

The other motivation is seeing a recipe like this to lure us into the kitchen. So let me hand you over to Nami with her gorgeous Purin recipe.  It uses up 4 lovely egg yolks…

Nami, Just One Cookbook

Hello everyone!  I’m Nami from Just One Cookbook.  I was so thrilled and delighted when Jill asked me to be her guest blogger.  I am a big fan of Jill’s beautiful macarons and love visiting her website to see what new macaron recipe she’s come up with.  Personally I don’t bake or make desserts too often but I definitely have a sweet tooth and I am also a recovering chocoholic.

As part of the “using up your egg yolk” series, I want to share a recipe for Crème Caramel and as you might have guessed it does not require an oven.  In Japan we call it Purin (it came from Pudding) and it’s definitely one of the most popular desserts.  We can buy very good-quality Crème Caramel from neighborhood convenient stores or fancy pastry shops.  My husband really loves Purin and today I’m sharing the recipe my husband said it’s the best ever.

Thank you Jill for having me over.  Cheers!

Crème Caramel (Purin)

Difficulty: Easy

Cooking Time: <45 minutes (excluding chill time)

Makes 8 servings


10 g gelatin

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup)* water

Caramel Sauce

140 g (2/3 cup) granulated sugar

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) water

8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) boiling water

4 egg yolks

80 g (1/3 cup) sugar

400 ml (3/4 cup) milk

8 Tbsp. (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream

2 tsp. vanilla

* I also added measurement in US measuring cup in parentheses, but I highly recommend using a food scale to follow this recipe precisely.


1. In a small bowl, combine gelatin and water and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water.  Caramelize the mixture on medium heat.  Shake the pan once in a while but you don’t need to stir with spoon.  Patiently wait until it turns into a nice caramelized color.

3. When you see nice (dark) golden caramelized color, immediately pour ½ cup of boiling water because it will quickly get darker and darker (resulting in bitter taste).  Make sure to wear a kitchen mitten so you won’t get burnt from the hot liquid splashing.  Remove from heat.

4. Quickly soak the ramekins under warm water so sugar doesn’t solidify right away.  Pour the caramel sauce in the ramekins.

5. In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar and whisk until it becomes creamy and smooth (That’s my husband mixing it up.  I asked my husband to be my assistant while I took pictures).

6. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring half of milk (200 ml) to a boil.  Remove from heat right before it starts to boil.

7. Slowly stir in a few drops of the hot milk at a time into the egg mixture and mix together.  Do not pour milk at once as the hot milk could cook the egg mixture and make it lumpy.  Whisk all together.

8. Pour the mixture back into the small saucepan.  Heat the mixture on low heat and whisk until it’s completely blended.

9. Once it gets warm again, add the gelatin and mix.  Make sure it melts completely. When the gelatin is completely mixed in, remove from the heat.

10. Pour the mixture over the sieve into the clean bowl.

11. Prepare iced water in a larger bowl and place the mixture bowl inside.

12. Add the rest of the milk (200 ml), heavy whipping cream, and vanilla.  Mix all together well.

13. Pour the mixture into the ramekins, and chill in the fridge for more than 1 hour.

14. After chilled, insert knife around the Crème Caramel and flip the ramekin on to the serving plate.  If it doesn’t come down, hold the ramekin like this (below) and shake once vigorously.  You should hear the Crème Caramel drop on the plate.


My husband and my kids like lighter caramel sauce but I personally like dark and bitter caramel sauce like this…

Nami's Crème Caramel (Purin)

When you caramelize, make sure not to make it really dark, because it will be too bitter.

Don’t you just love it? You can imagine what her savoury dishes are like if she doesn’t make desserts that often, my goodness. Nami is also a self confessed “recovering chocoholic”? Well, after Nami’s beautiful dessert I think I’ll have to admit that I’m not just a macaronivore but also a crème-carameloholic.  Thank you so much for sharing it with us and these beautiful photos.  Don’t forget to pop over to Nami’s blog, Just One Cookbook, and say cheers from me!  This week she has been making the most outstanding Japanese fish recipes.

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25 Responses to Guest Recipe: Crème Caramel (Purin)

  1. Brandie June 13, 2011 at 12:39 #

    Wow! This is a great use of egg yolks!! I have never made anything like this so this looks so intriguing to me. What a fabulous guest post Nami. And Jill, hope your back is doing better!

  2. Jen at The Three Little Piglets June 13, 2011 at 03:49 #

    Nami – those are gorgeous! Great guest post Jill! So sorry to hear about your trip – I hope your back feels better soon.

  3. June 12, 2011 at 19:38 #

    Nami and Jill, I LOVE this post! What a beautiful recipe, and stunning photos. Awesome job, Nami!

  4. Marmande in the Kitchen June 12, 2011 at 19:18 #

    Creme caramel is one of my favorite desserts, and this looks great. I have to work on my caramelizing skills – I always go a bit too dark and it ends up bitter. I’ll just need to practice!

  5. Adora's Box June 12, 2011 at 12:06 #

    I hope your back gets better soon. I know how it is. I use a contraption called Flexibak. You lie on it and do mild exercises. It works for me somehow. I am a regular “customer” of Nami. Her blog is full of beautiful photos and lovely recipes. I love this one in particular because I’m a big egg yolk fan.

  6. Stella June 11, 2011 at 14:17 #

    Thanks for the great recipe!! I lived in Japan for a little while and totally fell in love with purin. I haven’t had much success recreating it, pastry background not withstanding, and now I know why. I was baking mine in the oven; while delicious it never tasted “purin” enough for me. So it’s gelatin to the rescue, eh? That must be the secret to keeping the “nama” flavor. Jill, thanks for inviting Nami by for a guest post! :)

  7. Claudia June 11, 2011 at 02:56 #

    I don’t think an egg yolk has ever had a better use. This is stunning and sweet and welcoming. Kudos to a grand guest posting.

  8. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts June 10, 2011 at 21:51 #

    Great guest post!! I enjoy reading Nami’s blog, so I was excited to see her here as well! Wonderful dessert – creamy and delicious!

  9. Biren @ Roti n Rice June 10, 2011 at 21:13 #

    Good to see you here Nami :) Thnaks for sharing your purin recipe with us. Gorgeous pictures as always!

    Jill, I hope you feel better soon. Backaches are no fun. Take care and have a good weekend!

  10. Tina (PinayInTexas) June 10, 2011 at 18:07 #

    Nice to see Nami’s fabulous creation here! Lovely guest post!

  11. briarrose June 10, 2011 at 17:15 #

    Gorgeous treats. So easy to make and yet they look like they take waaaay more work. Love it.

  12. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) June 10, 2011 at 17:08 #

    Macarons then purins–great way to enjoy eggs, two ways.

    Sorry about the cancelled trip but I’m sure your family understood. When our bodies have had enough, there’s no budging them, right? Hope you get some rest this weekend, Jill!

  13. Parsley Sage June 10, 2011 at 16:24 #

    Outstanding! Thanks for introducing me to a new blogger, Jill! Nami sees pretty darn cool and clearly an outstanding chef :) Buzzed!

  14. Terris - FreeEatsFood June 10, 2011 at 15:36 #

    Wow, what a great combination of bloggers! I agree, Nami’s comments can make one’s day! This recipe could make one’s day too! Absolutely flawless preparation and presentation. Jill, I love the idea of giving readers ideas for what to do with leftover yolks. My hens work too hard to waste any part of their precious eggs!

  15. Sandra's Easy Cooking June 10, 2011 at 15:27 #

    First this dessert looks and sounds heavenly, and what a mouthwatering photos..yummy!I adore Nami, she is the sweetest woman that I have pleasure talking..
    Jill, I am so happy that you featured Nami on your beautiful blog! I think that both of you made magic today!!! Wonderful!!!!

  16. Becky June 10, 2011 at 11:43 #

    It’s nice to meet you on Le Blog. Your Creme Caramel is pure heaven, and photos are outstanding! I never tried making these, but maybe someday!

    Jill, I hope that your back is better soon. I’ve been having those lower back issues, too. Thanks for another great guest blogger.

  17. Anne June 10, 2011 at 11:42 #

    I adore creme caramel! What a wonderful recipe, great post, and beautiful photography! Thanks Jill for introducing us to Nami! Heading over to Just One Cookbook now for a peek! Have a great weekend ladies! :)

  18. Manu June 10, 2011 at 11:38 #

    One of my favorite blogger guest over at another of my favorite blogger’s site!!! Yes!!!!! Fantastic recipe, thank you Jill! And I agree with you… Nami’s comments are always a treat to read and they are warm and sweet, she’s a precious person! <3 Happy weekend ladies! :-)

  19. Liz June 10, 2011 at 11:13 #

    Oh, boy, this is a winner! Jill and Nami, you two team together well…and I adore BOTH of you and your blogs.

    Nami, you’ve been holding out on us…you make fabulous desserts!!! I’m a sucker for anything caramel…and these beauties are at the top of my list. Thanks you, both!!!

    Jill, sorry about your cancelled trip…hope your back feels better soon :(

  20. Belinda @zomppa June 10, 2011 at 10:38 #

    Agreed – two of my favorites right here. Another gorgeous dessert – it looks so smooth, I’d believe anything it tells me.

  21. Carolyn June 10, 2011 at 10:17 #

    You always feature my favourites! Nami’s creme caramel looks so perfect. I’ve only ever attempted it once, long, long ago and it was meh. But I should try again with her recipe!

  22. Hester Casey - Alchemy June 10, 2011 at 09:48 #

    Nami, Yum! Creamy, wobbly, sweet, delicious. This was my favourite childhood dessert. Definitely time to revisit this lovely sweet.

    Jill, what a shame to miss the party. I hope your back is on the mend.

  23. The Harried Cook June 10, 2011 at 09:44 #

    Wow, how cool is this!!! Two of my favorite bloggers in the same place… Awesome! :) I totally agree, Jill. When Nami comments on your blog, you really do feel like giving her a big hug! :) Love this guest post & it has come just it time for me to include this in my Father’s Day menu. My husband and my father both love creme caramel, and this would make them really happy! Thanks, Nami! Great post :) And thank you, Jill – I really hope your back feels better soon! Take care! Hugs to you both…

  24. Nami @ Just One Cookbook June 10, 2011 at 08:03 #

    Thank you so much Jill for having me as a guest blogger. Now that the post is up, I’m a little bit relieved…since I can’t do anything about it! Haha. I really hope your back will get better soon. I’ve done the similar back injury before so I know how painful and frustrating it is. Rest as much as you can…take good care okay? Thank you again!!


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