1. Select molds- eight 1/2 cup molds, or a 4 cup souffle dish. Arrange in roasting pan.
2. Put 7/8 cup of the sugar in a small heavy pan with 4 tbsps. of water.
Bring to boil over a high heat, swirling the pan to dissolve the sugar. Boil, without stirring, for about 5 minutes until the syrup turns a dark caramel color.
3. If using the individual molds, pour a little caramel into each one. If using a single mold, lift it with oven gloves and quickly swirl the dish to coat the base with caramel.(The caramel will harden quickly as it cools.)
4. Preheat the oven to 325'F. If using the vanilla bean, split it open lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Pour the milk and cream into a pan, add the vanilla seeds or extract and bring the mixture close to boil, stirring. Remove from heat and allow to stand for 15-20 minutes.
5. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and extra yolks with the remaining sugar for 2-3 minutes until creamy. Whisk in the warm milk and cream mixture, and then strain it into the caramel lined molds. Cover with foil.
6. Pour boiling water into the pan, to come halgway up the sides of the mold(s). Bake until the custard is just set(20-25 minutes for the small molds, 40 minutes for the large mold. A knife inserted to test should come out clean.) Remove from the water, leave to cool, then chill overnight.
7. To turn out, run a palette knife areound the custard. Cover a large mold with a serving dish and, holding tightly, flip over onto the dish. Lift one edge of the mold, waiting for the caramel to run down, then remove the mold. Cover the small molds with saucers and flip to serve,
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