June 2023

Today our Chef Christophe Le Cras unveils a summer dessert delight, an easy yet sophisticated Crème Caramel with fresh fruit panache. Simple to make and refreshingly indulgent, it’ll make the perfect end to a summer meal. Let’s meet our Chef and learn more on this amazing dish.


Mr Le Cras, what has been your career path in the culinary world? What key experiences or milestones stand out for you?

“I started working as a cook in France back in 1983, when I was 16. Seeking to combine work and adventure, I then started travelling and working as a cook, first in France and then in foreign countries such as England, Switzerland, Peru, USA and then Italy. A significant milestone in my carrier occurred in 1992, when I joined the cruise industry initially as a cook and then as Executive Chef. Today, I supervise all MSC Cruises ships, providing guidance and advise to the Executive Chefs on board.”


The dessert presented today is undoubtedly delicious, but what do you think makes it truly stand out or special?

“This is a classic dessert, the perfect ending to a lovely summer dinner. Its silky texture and the combined taste of vanilla and caramel, plus the addition of fresh fruit, makes it very special - a guaranteed success for every age. It’s also very easy to make!”


What are the key elements for the perfect success of this dish?

“The cooking process of the Crème Caramel is very delicate. It must be cooked using the Bain Marie method and should not reach the boiling point, otherwise it will lose its silky texture and become spongy. Bain Marie is a cooking process that consists in placing a container with food in a larger pan of simmering hot water, to avoid direct heat. This will gently heat the food and, in this case, it will prevent your crème from boiling.”


It’ll be great to prepare this desert at home! Where is it possible to enjoy this dish onboard our ships?

“This delightful desert is available on all our ships, both in the main restaurants and at the buffet.”


Ingredients for 4 persons:

Caramel for decoration

  • Sugar                                                   100 g
  • Water                                                   20 ml

Crème caramel Mixture

  • Condensed milk                                  250 ml
  • While milk                                           250 ml
  • Fresh Eggs                                           2 pc
  • Vanilla extract                                      1 g

Fresh fruits panache

  • Diced mango                                       80 g
  • Diced pineapple                                  80 g
  • Diced melon                                        80 g
  • Diced papaya                                      80 g

Mango Coulis

  • Mango                                                 120 ml
  • Sugar                                                   30 g
  • Water                                                   30 ml


Garnish & Serving

  • Whole raspberries                                12 pc
  • Whole blueberries                                12 pc
  • Whole physalis                                     4 pc
  • Mint sprig                                             4 sprigs



  • Preparing the caramel.

    Boil sugar and water until the syrup becomes lightly brown and caramelizes (at around 180°C), then pour it into the crème caramel moulds and let it cool down.

  • Preparing the crème caramel mixture.

    With the help of a whisk, mix the condensed milk and the whole milk, then add the eggs and vanilla extract. Once the ingredients are well blended, pour the cream over the caramel in the moulds.

  • Baking it in a bain-marie

    This method consists in cooking your crème in a container placed in a larger pan with simmering hot water and then place it in your oven at 160°C, for approx. 45 minutes. Remember, your crème should never boil! Then, remove from oven and Bain Marie and let cool down.

  • Fruit panaché

    Dice the mango, pineapple, melon and papaya and marinade with Rum.

  • Mango coulis

    Combine the mango with sugar and water and blend until smooth as a sauce.

  • Service

    Unmould the “Crème caramel” and place in the center of a plate.

    Pour mango coulis around the flan and garnish with the fruit panaché, physalis, mint and fresh berries.