Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Thursday, 12th April 2012

For me, choosing a favourite among classic desserts like Crème Caramel is nearly impossible. Sort of like swimming upstream…in Jell-O!

A photo of a Creme Caramel in a glass ovenproof dish.

However, this Crème Caramel is definitely in my “extra special” category because I added mascarpone cheese in the flan giving it a silky smooth in your mouth feel. And I also infused the vanilla bean for an hour, imparting a wonderful aromatic essence. To further enhance the caramel flavour, I cooked the custard in the same saucepan that I used to make the liquid caramel. That way the cream savours all the bits of caramel on the sides and base of the saucepan – mmm…heaven!

A photo of a turned out Cream Caramel on a red dessert dish with a dessert spoon.

And for a twist, when turning out the flan, pour a little liqueur like Grand Marnier or Brandy over the cascading caramel.

A photo of six individual flans in glass ramekins on a dark wooden board.

I have great news to share, drumroll please…my cookbook has gone to print – yeah! And should be available online and in bookstores in May.

A photo of a French Dessert, Crème Caramel with Mascarpone Cheese on a white dessert dish placed on a yellow napkin.

May has always been a very significant month in my life. I was born in May. I met my husband, Moe, in May. Moe proposed in May. We married in May. May was a month full of celebrations…until it wasn’t.

A photo of four creme desserts with liquid caramel in glass ramekins displayed on a dark wooden board.

It’s incredibly surreal how things happen in life. It makes we wonder, was there a reason for the delays in the book? Were the delays a blessing? Is it time to remember all the good things that happened and will happen in the month of May? And is it time to finally leave the pain of May 2004 behind?

A photo of a Custard Dessert with Caramel in a glass ramekin displayed on a white doilie lined yellow napkin.

Walking through the stages of grief I’ve realized how much I miss the little things. And often it’s the little things we take for granted. I miss the way he used to brush the bang away from my eyes, or how he wrapped his arm around my waist. Missing the little things helped me put things in perspective. Sometimes we need to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Whether it comes from the joy of watching a beautiful sunset, or taking a walk on the beach, listening to your favourite music or indulging in a simple classic dessert like this Crème Caramel.

A photo of a French Dessert, Crème Caramel on a white dessert dish.

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci al Cucchiaio, Eggs, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Mini Desserts, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Spoon Desserts

Comments (34)

34 Responses to “Mascarpone-Crème Caramel”

  1. Marly Says:

    What a lovely dessert and post, Grace. Congrats on your book – I can’t wait to see it. Here’s to many more lovely days this May!

  2. Kiri W. Says:

    Mmmmm – I love creme caramel, but with mascarpone? Heaven! :) Your pictures are gorgeous.

  3. Liz Says:

    Oh, this looks heavenly, Grace! And, as always, your photos are phenomenal!

  4. Suzi Says:

    Oh my gosh, such a thing of beauty. Looks scrumptious. Fantastic photos too.

  5. Steph@stephsbitebybite Says:

    These look so perfect and thick and creamy! I need a huge bite!

  6. Carolyn Says:

    Oh, I can see how mascarpone would be so great in creme caramel!

  7. Grace Says:

    Carolyn I bought a couple of large tubs of mascarpone not realizing Liana had already purchased a couple, I thought I would give it a try and I am so happy I did because the result was amazing, so creamy.

  8. Connie Salemi Says:

    Hi Grace,
    Can’t wait to see your book! Congrats!

  9. Marina@Picnic at Marina Says:

    What a fantastic dessert! And congratulations on the book!

  10. Grace Says:

    Thanks Marina!

  11. Sandra Says:

    This is beautiful Grace! I picked up mascarpone at the store yesterday and put it back because I didn’t know what to do with it. Now I know. Congrats on the book and wish you tons of success and happiness.

  12. Grace Says:

    Thank you so much Sandra!

  13. Amy @ FragrantVanillaCake Says:

    Your creme caramel looks amazing and sounds even better! The mascarpone must give it a heavenly texture!

  14. Jacqueline (CakeBoule) Says:

    Looks divine. Good news on the book front. Will it also have metric weights in it? There are a lot of us UK folk who I am sure I could entice with it if they do not have to work out cups – it confuses them :) Will it ship over here do you know?

  15. Grace Says:

    Hi Jacqueline, definitely will have metric conversions. We use metric system here in Canada Jacqueline. I have a US publisher but they understood that I base everything on weight, we’ve also made notations in the book that I’ve based all recipes on weight. The only metric conversion that unfortunately was removed in the final layout (due to space constraint) was the metric measurement for pan or mould sizes. Jacqueline as far as I understand my book will be available in all English speaking countries, therefore you should be able to order on your own home front. If you have a moment could you check to see if you can order through one of the UK online book distributors? Or could you pass along the names of your online book distributors and I will check to see if the book appears in the search results for order? Thanks Jacqueline!

  16. lyly Says:

    What a great combination between Mascarpone and cream caramel. Congratulation on your book and wish all the best.

  17. Ilan (IronWhisk Blog) Says:

    Hi Grace!

    These look really good.
    I’m sure you’ll have tons more good Mays.
    I mean.. your book will be a best seller until the following May, right? :)

  18. Mascarpone Creme Caramel « baking all the rules Says:

    […] Adapted from La Mia Dolce Vita […]

  19. lyly Says:

    Grace, when can I order your book online in May?

  20. Grace Says:

    Lyly you can use this link and order now if you’d like, it’s on special if you buy early, here’s the link – Thank you so much for the support, I so hope you enjoy!

  21. Mascarpone Crème Caramel Recipe | Best Friends For Frosting Says:

    […] caramel flavor. Then, she lets the vanilla bean infuse the mixture for a whole hour!  To serve the Mascarpone Crème Caramel, simply flip it onto a plate, and add a drizzle of liqueur, such as Grand Marnier or brandy. This […]

  22. Panna Cotta Recipe with Greek Yogurt and Citrus Gelée Says:

    […] It’s one of the most popular desserts enjoyed across Italy but its popularity has clearly extended beyond the Italian borders often seen on restaurant menus across the world. According to ancient tradition, to add flavour to the panna cotta, it should be paired with caramelized sugar like the crème caramel. […]

  23. Mina Says:

    Hi,i followed the recipe,but it came out like a cake :(

  24. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Mina I’m confused, do you mean the texture was firm? Possibly you baked for a little too long, unfortunately baking times can vary with different ovens, the flans should be removed when set around edges but still wobbly in centre.

  25. Kevin Says:

    Hi Grace!

    I’ve made this recipe twice now, and each time the caramel is still 80% solid after baking, I was wondering if there was a trick, or a step that I’m not getting somewhere. It’s still delicious, just a little disheartening.

  26. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Kevin so sorry you’re having issues, I feel your pain it took me a while to get caramel right. Can you explain what steps you’re taking (try to be as detailed as possible)? If I can get over my fear of being in front of the camera I really want to add video (probably through Google+ Hangouts because we can do a cook-along) to the site especially for the basics. I’ve found once you get the basics down pat you can create all kinds of wonderful desserts.

  27. Kevin Says:

    Well, the first time I followed your directions exactly, with occasional water brushing, and the sugars never reached the right color, even after about 30 minutes. Which I think, is because I did it too often. But, I grew concerned about the flakes that formed on top, so I washed the sides down every few minutes. In retrospect, I’m thinking that its because I had the burner up too high. So, after the 30ish minutes, I just grew bored, and used the slightly yellow caramel, and called it a day. I baked the flans for roughly 45 minutes in the water baths. Which, as it turns out, caused them to be over cooked. They rested on a rack, for 45 minutes, before being placed in the refrigerator. The flans actually ended up being overcooked this attempt.

    The second time, I read this article ( and tried again using the dry method without the acid. This time, backed with water bath, for 38 minutes, and removed with proper giggling occurred. They cooled for about 30 minutes, and were put in the refrigerator.

    Makes me wonder when the caramel melts again. If its in the cooling stage, then that might explain my issue.

    Videos would be awesome. I support this idea!

  28. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Kevin, I think you probably cooked the caramel too long, what type of vessel did you use, saucepan or skillet? I would suggest using a small saucepan (non-stick if you have one) and using the method with water but add a little lemon juice, the acidity should help reduce the hardening of the caramel during baking. When making the caramel try this, every time you swirl to even out the colouring brush down the sides (if you’re concerned about crystallization in between place a lid on the saucepan this will create some steam and should clean the sides). Cook at a medium-high heat and watch the colour carefully once it starts to turn a light amber colour, try to stick with a pale amber colour. Also keep in mind, the caramel continues to turn colour when you take it off the heat, it may look perfect and then intensify quickly off the heat. How long did you refrigerate them? Chilling helps to bring the caramel to a liquid state. Another thing you could try, just before turning out, place the individual flans in hot water for about 45 seconds, this should liquefy the caramel too. With respect to cooking time I always try to give a visual too because cook time can differ from one oven to another, it the flans are set and jiggly in the centre at 30 minutes remove but saying this I should probably mention that in my recipe writing and I’m making note of this for future. I hope you’ll try it again Kevin, like I said caramel is tricky but once you’ve made it a few times you’ll start to get the hang of it. I made some this weekend for these triple chocolate mousse cakes with cherry compote that I was making (decorating with cherries dipped in caramel) and I had to make it three times because every time I cooled in water bath to stop cooking process the colour went way too dark and of course tasted bitter. So sorry for my late reply I was out of town and had very spotty internet connection. Please do come back and let me know how it goes.

  29. Kevin Says:

    It might be a month or so, before they are demanded again, but I definitely will. They cooled over night both times. Thanks for the help.

    I made mini versions of the chocolate mousse cake you post before for a work thing. I never got one :(, my daughter stole mine before I got home.

  30. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Kevin, which mousse cake did you make? I’ve got a new version going up today with a really tasty Cherry Compote and Purée with a few extras, perfect for an extra special dinner party dessert. Fingers crossed I’ll get a video up before then. Happy Weekend!

  31. Kevin Says:

    The triple chocolate one. They were quite a bit of work, even with cheating by using cups.

    Sounds delicious.

  32. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Mmm…they are Kevin. I hoped to get the post up on Friday but my daughter, Liana’s had a hectic work schedule, fingers crossed it will be up tomorrow.

  33. Lenore Says:

    I’d like to try this recipe. Can I substitute vanilla extract for the beans? If so, what would be the ratio.

  34. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Lenore, I am so sorry for my late reply, I haven’t been updating the site since my mom had her stroke. You can absolutely substitute the beans with pure vanilla extract. I recommend one to two teaspoons.

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