Place ramekins in shallow hotel pan; add hot water to come 3/4 up sides of ramekins. Cover pan with foil and bake in 350° oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more, or until top slice of bread is browned and custard is set. Cool before unmolding.
To make Caramel Sauce: In heavy saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it caramelizes to a rich golden brown. Remove from heat and cool for 1 minute; slowly pour in water. Return pan to heat, add soy sauce and lemon juice and simmer until caramel dissolves and sauce is syrupy. Add vanilla and butter; simmer until butter is melted and sauce is smooth. Hold warm or refrigerate until service; reheat over hot water bath. Yield: 3 cups.
For each serving, to order: Place 1 Fruit Charlotte, top side down, in center of plate. Pour 2 tablespoons Caramel Sauce over and around charlotte; garnish with 4 date halves and 1 tablespoon cranberries.
Recipe by Andrew Selz of C.H.E.F. Culinary School, Peeksill, NY. "Secret Ingredient" Category Winner, 2002 Kikkoman Soy Sauce Masters Recipe Contest