Crème Caramel is like Crème Brulée, in that it is also a baked custard. Unlike Crème Brulée, though, instead of using all cream, it uses cream and milk.
Before the uncooked custard is poured into the baking dish, the bottom of the dish is covered with a thin layer of dark brown caramel sauce. When the custard is cooked, it is inverted onto a plate, so that the caramel sauce will be on top and run down the sides.
It is usually cooked in individual serving dishes.
Crème caramel gets both its colouring and flavour from a combination of caramelization and a “Maillard reaction.”
Both Crème Brulée and Crème Caramel were very popular with restaurateurs in the 1900s, because they could be prepared in advance.
The French don’t have a word for custard, so they call it crème.