The term Ramekin is derived from the French ramequin, a cheese- or
meat-based dish baked in a small mold. The French term is in turn derived from early modern Flemish rammeken, which translated to 'toast' or 'roasted minced meat', itself apparently from ram 'battering ram' + -kin 'diminutive', but it is unclear why.
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Ramekins are generally considered to be the ultimate baking dish for the French delicacy, crème brûlée. However, they can be used for more than just that- from food preparations to presentation, these versatile bakeware handle it all with aplomb.
So, what are Ramekins and what exactly are they used for? Read on to know more:
Ramekins, or soufflé dishes, are circular glazed dishes that are normally used to bake and serve individual portions of dishes like puddings, crème brûlée, souffles, custards or other desserts. They are also used to hold dips, sauces or individual portions of salads or side dishes. They have a fluted exterior and are conventionally made from porcelain or ceramic.
How Do Ramekins Look?
Don’t let the delicate build of these small ramekins fool you!
The ceramic and porcelain ones are specially made to take the heat which means that you can directly place them into the oven without worrying about them cracking.
The traditional ramekin is white in colour, has a cylindrical shape with diameter ranging from 3” to 4”. The classical white ceramic ramekins with deep vertical sides and a thin rounded lip, have in recent times been outdone by delightful looking ramekins in all shapes, sizes and colours- to add that dash of color and brighten up your kitchen!
So, What are Ramekins Made of?
While conventionally Ramekins have been made of ceramic, they can also be made from glass and even metals like cast iron, steel or aluminium. While metals are convenient for baking ramekins made of ceramic allow for better presentation and can travel straight from the oven to your dining table.
Best Uses for a Ramekin
Ramekins can be quite appealing when used as table dishes for snacks such as nuts, dips or even fruits! Another great thing about ramekins is that you can keep a check on your portion control especially when it comes to desserts!
Baking is less of a task and more of a delight when ramekins are brought into the equation.
Ramekins are an excellent choice when you want to make souffles or even prepare individual servings of Mac and Cheese!
Ramekins or souffle bowls are apt for single serve desserts, soufflés in particular. As the soufflé bakes, the light and airy egg whites expand and travel upward towards a ramekin’s vertical edges. These vertical edges give the soufflés proper shape and height along with its quintessential puffed-out shape.
For dishes like crème brûlée, ramekins are your best bet as the torch used to melt the sugar for a crispy top emanates severe heat and they won’t break under the pressure of a direct flame.
Although all these dishes can be prepared without using ramekins, the end results would definitely not be as perfect as you’d get using it. When it comes to visual appeal, a dish that is presented elegantly in delightful ramekins will far surpass one that doesn’t.
So, if you like having people over and are also as particular about the presentation as you are about the cooking it’s best if you pick up a set that will impress your guests and complement your kitchen and your table setting
A ramekin can normally hold around 4 ounces, so whenever you’re not in the mood for a brûlée or souffle, you can use them for everything from ice-creams to puddings and keep your portions in check!
Ramekins come in a number of sizes, each one perfectly tailored for your baking and serving needs.
Here’s a rundown of different sizes of Ramekins and what they are used for:
Ramekins of this size can be used to hold condiments like guacamole, BBQ sauce, chipotle or ketchup. They also happen to be useful when it comes to serving small appetizers like edamame or for holding herbs, spices and honey! On the other hand, if you want to jazz up your living room, you can use these bowls for tea candles or tea lights.
While these bowls can also be used for condiments, they are brilliant for serving mini-desserts like pudding or crème brûlée since they are slightly larger as compared to 1-2-ounce ramekins.
If you are in the market for a multipurpose set a 6-ounce ramekin is your best bet! These ramekins are great for serving individual portions of desserts or even Mac and cheese.
Ramekins are relatively economical - hardly $14.95 for a Set of 6 from Cestash. Click here to get your bargain
On the larger side, these ramekins are best used to serve small portion meals like popcorn or chips or even salads and can be used to make Choco lava cake and other desserts or sides that are just right for two people.
Baking consists of just more than throwing in some ingredients into a tray and putting it into the oven.
Ever given a thought to the different types of bakeware used and the purpose they serve?
Baking trays whether glass, silicone, metal or ceramic serve a purpose. So, it’s best if you first consider the recipe you’re trying out before you decide on the kind of bakeware you will use.
We have always heard the saying ‘Baking is a science’ and it is no less than the truth -
ingredients, when blended together and heated, produce different reactions while also scientifically reacting to the containers they are placed in.
Different recipes call for different types of bakeware so we have listed below how different types of bakeware work. We hope this will help you make the right choice to bake right.
When you want to heat up a dish quickly, a metal bakeware is an excellent choice as it absorbs the heat from the oven in minutes and browns the corners of your food quickly. Any type of metal- stainless steel, aluminium, copper or cast iron, is best for the dishes that require high heat or for dishes that need a little extra crisp like pizza crusts or fries.
When you want to cook a dish evenly at a consistent temperature, glass bakeware is your best bet. Glass is a poor conductor hence takes a long time to heat and cannot take quick temperature changes. It is also prone to shattering with sudden change or increase in temperature.
However, if your recipe calls for constant and consistent temperature then a glass tray is what you would need. Glass bakeware is also ideal when you’re baking with acidic ingredients like tomatoes, citrus or eggs.
Ceramic bakeware comes in colourful varieties and are excellent dishes to bake and serve your food in. They’re quite similar to glass dishes in all aspects. Available in a range of shapes, sizes and colors they help enhance the presentation of the dish and the table setting as well. They are ideal for dishes that are best enjoyed warm like casseroles.
Since silicone is non-stick, it is great for baking sticky food that doesn’t come off easily thus reducing any leftover mess. However, on the flip side Silicone takes a long time to heat since it is a poor conductor of heat. It therefore doesn’t work well for dishes that need to be served crisp or warm. Silicone is ideal for some light baking like muffins, bread, tea cakes etc.
We hope this makes life easy for you when it comes to baking and selecting the right bakeware.
What’s the bottom line?
Choose your ramekins wisely coz using the right bakeware makes a world of difference. We’d love to hear back from you about how you think ramekins can be used differently than what we’ve mentioned above. So, send in your comments.