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The term is derived from the French ramequin, a cheese- or meat-based dish baked in a small mold. The French term is 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.
With a normal capacity of 50–250 ml (1.8–8.8 imp fl oz; 1.7–8.5 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, 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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