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what do you make/bake in custard cups?

My mother got me a set of beautiful, transparent glass cups. I said thank you, and then asked, "Erm, what are they for?". She made a flapping motion with her hand and said, "No idea. But aren't they pretty?".Finallythis week I came across a very similar picture on a website, and now I know they are called... custard cups! They hold about half a cup each in fluid volume, have slightly slanted sides, and through experimentation, they seem to be ovenproof.

So far, I've made homemade jelly (U.S. jello, fruit puree set with gelatine), maple syrup creme caramel, served home made ice cream balls in them, and home made vanilla pudding. What else can I make in them? I want ideas for single-serving desserts. I usually make them when we have company over for a casual week-night supper, so something I can do the day before or in the hour ahead of dinner would be ideal. Maybe some kind of serve-it-warm sponge pudding with fruit? Extra points for desserts that complement Asian meals, since I cook quite a lot of Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese.

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  1. There must be a million recipes originating from far eastern sources where ramekins (custard cups) come into play.
    Here are a couple:





    If you want a special custard for other settings (makes a nice breakfast of brunch dish) try this one:


    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      does japanese sesame paste taste the same as the chinese equivalent (i.e. sort of like peanut butter but sesame flavoured)? Not sure if I can get that locally.

      Haven't made chawan mushi in ages. Thanks for reminding me about that.

    2. Nigella Lawson's Gooey Chocolate Puddings are heavenly! (serve with lots of cream)


      Also, these Baked Eggs and Mushrooms in Ham Crisps are a great breafkast/brunch item:


      You can bake quiche in custard cups (minus the crust - great for low-carbers), and I've successfully make popovers in custard cups.

      Any custard or baked or shirred egg dish works well in custard cups.

      1 Reply
      1. re: janniecooks

        the ham crisps look marvellous. Call for toast soldiers.

      2. I've made individual souffles in the white ramekins. I guess the transparent custard cups could be used as well (sweet potato souffle, in case anyone is interested).

        1 Reply
        1. re: nofunlatte

          Souffles do better in straight sided containers, therefore ramekins. The transparent cups are good for the everydat (kid's) puddings, tapioca or baked.

        2. I primarily use my custard cups for mise en place, but on occasion they do get used for individual souffles and creme brulees.

          1. You can also do little individual fruit crisps, or lemon pudding cakes. I don't know how much luck you'll have with souffles if they have a curved side, but even unsuccessful chocolate souffle tastes good, so you might as well try it.

            I love little bowls and individual servings of anything, so have fun with them.

            1. I use mine for Molten Lava cakes. Makes a nice presentation and each person can "break" their own cake to let the lava flow.

              1. Chinese almond jello--you can make it w/ agar agar but my mom always used the knox version (probably because it's all she could get at the time)



                Thai sweet sticky coconut rice:


                And, non-asian panna cotta (which is almond pudding w/out the almond...). My favorite easy recipe:


                With berries in season, I'd probably make individual trifles.

                1. I'm not sure I've ever cooked in mine (although I have some larger ones I use occasionally). I use mine constantly, though. They make great prep bowls, sauce bowls (I use them a lot for melting butter in the microwave), storing small amounts of leftovers, etc. Actually, over the years mine have gotten broken and I'm looking to replace them -- I'm sad because Pyrex changed the design and the new ones aren't as pretty as the old ones.

                  1. Chawan mushi for something savory.

                    1. Not dessert but baked or shirred eggs--so delicious. Buttermilk pannacotta (Karen Barker has a great recipe for this). Second the recommendation for Nigella's Gooey Chocolate Puddings--they are incredible and very fast and easy, perfect for what you describe (recipe is in How to Eat). Also you can bake popovers in custard cups (Marion Cunningham's recipe calls for this I think).

                      And I just found a recipe for Green Tea pudding cakes that might fit the bill:

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: butterfat

                        How to Eat is actually a good resource for this kind of thing - nigella has lots of recipes for simple dinner parties, IIRC. Will dip into my copy tonight...

                        Do you think the pudding cakes separate into sponge and custard layers, like the lemon equivalent?

                      2. Ive made chocolate mousse and served it in them before... I wet the edges of the cups and dunked them in chocolate cookie crumbs before putting the mousse in to set. Looked quite fun :)