23 April 2016
So this was just meant to be “another way to use my baked custard base from the crème brûlée recipe”, but had the unintended consequence of my mother declaring it “the best thing she’s eaten in years”. Which is kind of a put-down really, considering she’s had the opportunity to eat everything else on the blog while I’ve been testing recipes… oh, well!
Unlike crème brûlée which is a silky baked custard with toffee on top, crème caramel is a silky baked custard with toffee on the bottom (which is then flipped over so the toffee is on top anyway). While I really enjoyed the crème brûlée I made earlier in the season, I’m forced to concede that my mother may have a point when it comes to this crème caramel.
Not to toot my own horn (because it’s not like I invented the dish), but this was absolutely divine!
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup water
Yep, that’s it. A bit of sugar and water is all it takes to knock a simple baked custard out of the park.
1. Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F).
2. Place the sugar and water into a saucepan and stir until the sugar dissolves.
3. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to boil, then reduce to medium until it begins to caramelise. (DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM IT! Boiling sugar can be dangerous if unattended. Also, try not to spill it on yourself… that would be rather unfortunate, not least of all because then you'd have to start again.)
4. Once the sugar syrup has reached the desired colour (a deep amber) remove it from the heat and pour it into a 15cm ramekin or another ovenproof dish of a similar size. (You REALLY need to do this right away. The sugar syrup will continue to caramelise until it starts to cool down, so you want it OUT of the saucepan as soon as possible to prevent it from burning.)
5. Once the toffee has cooled and is completely solid (approx. 30 minutes later), move the ramekin into a high-sided baking tray and pour the custard base over the toffee until the dish is almost completely full. (Unless you’re using a really deep ramekin.)
6. Fill the baking tray with enough boiling water until it reaches around halfway up the sides of the ramekin.
7. Place the baking tray into the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 60-70 minutes or until there is just a slight wobble in the centre of the custard.
8. Allow the crème caramel to cool, then place into the fridge overnight to chill.
9. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut around the inside edge of the ramekin to release the crème caramel.
10. Place your serving plate over the ramekin tightly and flip it over.
11. Lift away the ramekin (slowly) and serve immediately.
Serves 2-4 (or just 1, honestly).
A video of this recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/U6-UX-VmABA.
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