21 Feb Crème Caramel
My first taste of crème caramel was in the rather unsophisticated form of Flamby. As children we would get the triple-packs as an after-dinner treat. We loved to turn the little fluted plastic pots onto a plate and snap the plastic clip to release the pudding and caramel sauce in one satisfying motion!
Crème Caramel was hugely popular in the 80’s but has sadly disappeared from restaurant menu’s in recent times (Flamby is also no longer around). As a throwback to those happy days, I decided to try my hand at making my own version and could not quite believe just how easy it is!
There are however a few little tricks that will ensure you make the PERFECT crème caramel every time:
1) To get a lovely smooth texture, be sure not to overmix the custard – you just want to mix until the sugar is dissolved but don’t use a whisk or beat air into it as this will result in lots of bubbles in your final dish.
2) Before baking your crème caramels, cover the ramekins with foil to prevent a dry skin forming on the custard.
3) Baking the custards at a fairly low temperature in a bain-marie ensures they cook evenly.
4) Refrigerating the custards overnight allows the caramel layer to become saucy, and also infuses a rich caramel flavour into the custards.
For the Caramel:
30ml water (2 tbsp)
For the Custard:
500ml full cream milk (2 cups)
4 large eggs
10ml vanilla extract (2 tsp)
- Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease 6 x ramekins (125ml capacity) or pudding moulds.
- Make the caramel by heating the 125g sugar and 30ml water over a low heat until amber in colour. Cool for 2 minutes then divide the caramel between the ramekins and swirl to coat the bases evenly. Set aside to cool.
- To make the custard, heat the milk until hot but not boiling. Gently mix the eggs and 75g sugar together in a heatproof bowl, then slowly add in the hot milk, mixing constantly. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- Allow the custard mixture to stand for 10 minutes, then skim off any foam that comes to the surface. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug then carefully pour into the ramekins/moulds.
- Cover each ramekin with foil, then place into a large baking dish. Pour hot water into the tin to two-thirds of the way up the ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for further 12-15 minutes, or until the custard is just set but still slightly wobbly at the centre. Remove from the bain-marie and leave to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
- To serve, carefully dip each ramekin or mould into hot water and carefully turn onto a plate. Serve immediately!