"A wonderful baked creme brulee. Use white or brown sugar for the top. If you do not have a kitchen torch, a regular propane torch can be used or simply place the custard under the broiler for a few minutes.
This variation adds caramel to the mix, making an old standard even better."
Unwrap and Place caramel squares into pthe top part of the double-boiler, with about 1/4 cup of cream. Stir the mixture until the caramel is melted. I find that between 4-5 standard caramel squares/ramekin works best.
Divide the caramel/cream mixture evenly into each of the ramekins.
Place the ramekins in the freezer until ready to add the finished creme mixture (at least 15 minutes) -- this should give the caramel time to harden, which is important to preventing it to mix in with the custard and become soupy.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line the bottom of a large baking pan with a damp kitchen cloth.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. While water is boiling, combine cream, 1/4 cup sugar and salt in saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally 4 to 5 minutes, until steam rises. In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth. Pour hot cream into yolks, a little at a time, stirring constantly, until all cream is incorporated. Pour mixture into the four 6 oz. ramekins that have the hardened caramel mixture.
Place ramekins on towel in baking dish, and place dish on oven rack. Pour boiling water into dish to halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover whole pan loosely with foil.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until custard is just set. If you have one, a convection oven works great for this recipe -- and should keep the time down to 30 to 35 minutes.
Chill ramekins in refrigerator 4 to 6 hours.
Before serving, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over each custard (raw sugar seems to work best, but white sugar works, too). Use a kitchen torch or oven broiler to brown top, 2 to 3 minutes.