Crème caramel is given a Japanese twist in this recipe and served with a tart sake and lemon sorbet. Chef Kenji Ito also adds azuki monaka, a light wafer cake filled with sweetened red bean paste. You will need 8 x 125 ml dariole moulds. Freeze leftover sorbet for up to three months.  






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (7 votes)


  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) pouring cream
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped


Nigori sake sorbet

  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 250 ml (1 cup) nigori sake (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Freezing time 4 hours

Chilling time 4 hours

Drink Kizakura Nigori Sake, Japan ($10, 300 ml)

To make sorbet, place sugar and 250 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high, add lemon juice and bring to the boil. Remove from heat, stir in sake and allow to cool. Churn in an ice-cream maker until frozen. (Alternatively, pour into a shallow metal tray and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen at the edges. Scrape with a fork to break up ice crystals, then freeze for a further 2 hours. Repeat process twice or until completely frozen and smooth.)

Grease 8 x 125 ml dariole moulds. Place 110 g sugar and 1 tbsp hot water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil for 12 minutes or until a dark golden caramel. Divide among moulds and set aside.

Whisk eggs, yolks and remaining 110 g sugar in a bowl until combined. Place milk, cream and vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Strain through a fine sieve. Pour among moulds. Place in a large steamer and set over a pan of simmering water. Steam for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until cold. Turn out and serve with sorbet.


• Nigori sake is a "raw" sake that is cloudy due to the loosely woven cloth that it is filtered through. Substitute other drinking sake.


As seen in Feast magazine, Mar 2012, Issue 7. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.

Photography by Scout Edwards (Whitewall).