You'll have to excuse me, I've just had a massive oven cook up and accidentally eaten two types of roast dinner this evening (honey & mustard lamb rack with wok charred dark soy brussel sprouts; and slow cooked pork with roast apples and fennel)! So no blogging tonight, and more on that later. I'm in a food coma!
Luckily, my friend and I were chatting on Facebook (after I posted my roast dinner photos) and he has decided to share with us the benefit of his hard work with experimenting with Creme Caramel recipes in this excellent guest blog post. He assures me that this will turn out beautifully if you want to give it a go:
Keith's Creme Caramel
There are multiple creme caramel recipes out there, using exactly the same ingredients that this version calls for. However, most recipes give imprecise quantities (e.g. specifying measurements in cups), or give dangerous cooking suggestions (e.g. 180C oven!). If you follow these instructions, you will be rewarded with a smooth, bubble-free, and really eggy creme caramel.
This recipe does not call for any special equipment other than a digital probe thermometer, which I suggest you buy because it is a worthy investment.
Assuming you have 250mL ramekins, this recipe will make enough for 8 serves.
- Digital weighing scales
- Digital probe thermometer
- 8x 250mL ramekins
- Blowtorch (optional)
FOR THE CREME MIXTURE
- 1L full cream milk
- 320gm egg yolks (about 8 egg yolks)
- 420gm whole eggs (about 6 eggs)
- 180gm caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 10gm salt
Tip: whisk the eggs for easier weighing
Pour the salt and sugar into a saucepan then pour the milk on top of it (this stops the milk from catching and burning at the bottom). Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out, then add to the milk. Heat the milk to 80C, then turn off the heat and allow to infuse for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the caramel (recipe below).
Add the cooled milk to the egg yolks and eggs, then beat until incorporated. Strain the mixture, discarding the vanilla skins. This will get rid of any bubbles and egg shells.
FOR THE CARAMEL
- 300mg sugar
- 100mL water
Mix the sugar and water together and bring to boil in a saucepan. Prepare your ramekins, making sure they are dry. You will need to work fast as soon as the caramel is made. You will find that the caramel will continue to darken in the pan, and will easily pass the burnt stage by the time you reach your sixth ramekin if you do not take precautions!
As soon as the caramel starts to take colour, observe it closely. Just as it passes golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and immediately plunge the bottom of the pan into water in the sink for 15-20 seconds, making sure you do not get any water into the caramel. This will cool the pan and stop the caramel from overcooking.
Immediately pour the caramel into the prepared ramekins, swirling the caramel to coat as high up the sides as possible. Work quickly - it helps to have an extra pair of hands to complete this stage.
FOR THE CREME CARAMEL
Preheat the oven to 90C, fan forced. This is a much lower temperature than is typical in most recipes, and the reason is simple - high heat causes liquid to boil, boiling liquid produces bubbles, and bubbles in your creme caramel produces a rough texture.
Choose a baking pan which will fit all 8 ramekins. Line the bottom of the pan with folded tea towels, making sure that it is absolutely flat. If your ramekins are tilted, you will get lopsided creme caramels.
Pour the creme caramel mixture into the prepared ramekins. Let rest for a few minutes - any bubbles will rise to the top. Pop the bubbles by passing a blowtorch very quickly over the liquid. Cover each ramekin tightly with foil, then poke a few holes to allow steam to escape. Place the ramekins carefully onto the folded tea towels in the baking pan.
Boil enough water to reach 2/3 the height of the ramekins, then pour into the pan.
Bake the creme caramels at 90C for about 60-90 minutes, or until a probe thermometer reads 82C. Turn off the oven, leaving the door open. Allow the caramels to cool to room temperature unmolested (about 2-3 hours). Note - if you try to remove the caramels too soon, they will cool too quickly and shrink, leaving cracks.
Chill the caramels in the fridge. Before serving, immerse the ramekins into boiling water for 60 seconds, then run a knife around the edge. Invert a plate over the ramekin, then turn the whole thing the right side up. The caramels should unmold easily. Garnish and serve.
Definitely one of my favourite ever desserts! Might even convince me to try making sweets a bit more often! Thanks mate!