Sunday, August 16, 2009

crème caramel

My older sister and I love virtually all food shows, one particular show is called Food Safari on the SBS network. It's a show on food from different cultures. The recipe for this crème caramel is from the Portuguese episode. I love it for its straightforward-no-messing-about method, just a really-easy-to-make dessert.

A few do's and don'ts:

  • Do use medium-large size eggs (500-600g per dozen), I used extra large eggs and ended up with too much custard mixture even after filling up 6 of my decent sized mugs and had to pour them down the drain.
  • Don't put too much caramel at the bottom of the ramekin, otherwise it won't melt during the baking process. As long as it thinly covers the bottom of the ramekin, that's all you need.
  • Do use an oven-proof cups or mugs if you don't have any ramekins. I used cups & mugs of different sizes and to me that actually makes it more rustic and homelike.
  • After I happily finished the crème caramel, I had left-over hardened caramel stuck on the bottom of my cups, I used the microwave to heat it up until it's liquid again, poured it onto aluminium foil and threw it away.

Crème caramel
by food safari

You will need 4 decent sized ramekins (deep and about 8.5 cm diameter)

Caramel ingredients:
  • 50-75mL cold water
  • 200g white sugar
Custard ingredients:
  • 200g white sugar
  • a dozen of eggs
  • 1L of milk
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip lemon rind
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  1. To make the caramel, place water in a heavy saucepan. Add sugar, pouring into the centre of the water so it doesn't touch the edges. Cook over a medium heat for ten minutes. Do not stir. The caramel will slowly colour from blonde to brunette, to a dark, rich colour. Pour into ramekins.
  2. To make the custard, whisk eggs, one at a time into sugar until mixture is slightly frothy.
  3. Put milk, cinnamon stick, lemon peel and vanilla essence into a saucepan and bring to boil, remove from heat and stir into egg mixture (do not over mix).
  4. Pour mixture through a sieve into a jug and then pour into ramekins. Be careful when pouring over the caramel that you swirl a little as you pour so the warm mixture does not crack the toffee.
  5. Place ramekins in an overproof dish and fill half way up the sides of the dish with water. Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes. Turn the baking dish around, then bake for a further 15 minutes to cook evenly.
  6. Rest for 30 mins. Run a knife around the edges of the ramekins before turning out onto a dish. Top up with more caramel to taste.

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