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The term is derived from the French ramequin, a cheese- or meat-based dish baked in a small mould. The French term is in turn derived from early modern Dutch rammeken, which translated to 'toast' or 'roasted minced meat', itself apparently from ram 'battering ram' + -kin 'diminutive', but it is unclear why.[better source needed]
With a normal capacity of approximately 50–250 mL (1+1⁄2–8+1⁄2 US fl oz), ramekins are commonly used for preparing and serving individual portions of a variety of dishes, including crème brûlée, French onion soup, molten chocolate cake, moin moin, cheese or egg dishes, poi, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, potted shrimps, ice cream, soufflé, baked cocottes, crumbles, chakra póngal, or scallops, or used to serve side garnishes and condiments alongside an entrée.
Traditionally circular with a fluted exterior, ramekins can also be found in novelty shapes like flowers, hearts, and stars.
Ramekins are usually designed to resist high temperatures, as they are frequently used in ovens or, in the case of crème brûlée, exposed to the flame of a cooking torch.
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