Monday, January 20, 2014

Original Creme Caramel

I dont know where this recipie originally came from, but it was back in the 70's, and I have used it ever since.  You can up the cream content if you like by substituting it for some of the milk.  This makes 4 small souffle - dish ramekins, or one large one.  

It is the perfect dinner party dish because it looks and tastes wonderful, and you make it the day before.  Making a really large one is a spectacular dessert for a crowd, simply double the recipie. 

Use a vanilla pod if you have one - it tastes much nicer, but if not use vanilla Extract never  Essence.
Another point to remember is not to over-heat the milk and cream, bring it just to the point where bubbles start to form at the sides of the pan.
Straining is important - otherwise you will not have a smooth custard.
Don't over whisk either - the aim is not to put air bubbles into the custard.


A note about the caramel - how dark (and bitter) you make it is up to you, personally I love it very dark, but most people make it similar to the one pictured.  The wonderful thing about this dessert is that it is a combination of the sweet, bitter caramel and smooth rich custard.

Creme Caramel


Rating : moderate


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

1-/3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract OR beans from one vanilla pod

Make caramel by combining sugar and water, stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.  
Then boil rapidly until it turns a deep golden brown.  Note: Do not stir at this stage, or the sugar will crystallize.
Pour caramel into the bottom of individual small souffle dishes, rotate so that the caramel coats sides and base.  Set aside.

Beat eggs, vanilla and sugar together with a balloon whisk until combined.  Combine milk and cream in a saucepan, bring to scalding point (when bubbles appear around the edge). cool slightly.
Gradually combine with the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Strain into a large jug.

Place dishes in a baking dish that has a tea towel on the bottom.
Fill dishes evenly with custard.
Fill baking dish with hot water to 1/2 way up the dishes.
Bake at 180C for 25 - 30 minutes, or until just set.  IF you are making a large one, and cannot bake in a water bath, lower the temp to 160C.
Remove from water to cool, then refrigerate (overnight if possible).

To serve, carefully turn the souffle dish upside down onto serving plates, serve with strawberries or raspberries for a special dinner party.


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