Vietnamese Recipes & Cuisines (Desserts & Drinks)

Coconut Caramel Recipe

There is no mistaking the French influence on this dessert. Based on the classic French dessert, creme caramel, this Vietnamese version is made with coconut milk. Hugely popular throughout Vietnam, it is served both as a snack and as a more sophisticated dessert in restaurants, where it is sometimes garnished with mint leaves or toasted coconut. You can use this recipe to make one large dessert or six small ones.

Ingredients : Serves 4-6



50 g

600 ml

30 ml

1 bunch


For the caramel

150 g

Eggs (US extra large)

Egg yolks

Caster (superfine) sugar

Coconut milk

Finely grated fresh coconut

Small fresh mint leaves, for garnishing



Caster (superfine) sugar

Method :
  • Preheat the oven to 160oC/325oF/Gas 3. To make the caramel, heat the sugar and 75 ml water in a heavy pan, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.

  • Bring to the boil and , without stirring, let the mixture bubble until it is dark golden and almost like treacle.

  • Tip the caramel mixture into an oven proof dish, or six individual ramekins, tilting the dish to swirl it around so that it covers the bottom and sides - you will need to do this quickly. Put the dish aside and leave the caramel to set.

  • Set the dish or ramekins in a bain-marie - a roasting pan or wide oven dish half-filled with water.

  • Place it in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until set with a little wobble - check with your fingertips.

  • Leave the dish to cool then chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

  • To serve, loosen the custard around the sides using a thin, sharp knife.

  • Place a flat serving plate over the top and invert the custard, holding on to the dish and plate at the same time. Shake it a little before removing the inverted dish, then lift it off as the caramel drizzles down the sides and forms a puddle around the pudding.

  • Decorate with a little fresh coconut and small mint leaves, and serve.

French flavours

Creme caramel is particularly popular in the city of Hanoi, where it has been adopted with enthusiasm.

Another popular French import to Vietnam is mayonnaise.


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