Monday, 16 November 2015

classic crème caramel to continue indulging

Most would say that an overindulgent weekend of feasting ought to be followed by simple and healthy fare come Monday. I say continue to indulge – especially because it is Monday! This miserable day that proceeds the fun interlude to the working week needs something special. Perhaps it’s not the most prudent way of living but you only live once. There’s enough sad and depressing news out there to want to counteract it with some sweet indulgence that makes you feel happy.
Over the weekend my sisters hosted an amazing post-graduation lunch for me, for which I baked a cake with only egg whites. So I decided to use up the leftover yolks by making one of my favourite childhood desserts – crème caramel. Such a simple yet special dish of baked custard topped with a crown of deep golden, syrupy caramel. This classic indulgence is best served chilled and shared with family and friends. But of course, feel free to indulge all on your lonesome. Forget upturning the dish, just grab a spoon! Happy Monday! 

Adapted from Felicity Cloake's Recipe

Ingredients (serves 6)
For the creme
600ml whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
100g granulated sugar
2 free range medium eggs
5 free range medium yolks

For the caramel
120g granulated sugar
A little water (Just enough to cover the sugar)

Firstly grease six small ramekins or one medium sized ovenproof dish and set aside inside a deep baking tray.

Make the caramel syrup by adding sugar and a small amount of water (about 25ml, or just enough to cover the sugar). Do this by bringing the sugar and water to a boil on medium high heat. Allow the mixture to bubble up. Do not stir. The sugar will turn a deep golden when it is ready. This takes about 3-4 minutes. You can test by adding a drop to a saucer and if it solidifies it’s ready.

When the caramel syrup is done, immediately divide between ramekins or pour into the large dish and swirl around to evenly coat the bottom of the dish or dishes and bring up slightly along the sides – about ½ an inch. Leave to set.

Meanwhile make the custard mix whisking the eggs, yolks and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl or jug.

Heat the milk with vanilla extract until it simmers but is not boiling. About 3 minutes. Add this mixture slowly to the egg and sugar mixture and whisk as you blend until you have a light frothy mixture.

Pre-heat oven to gas mark 2/150 degrees.

When the caramel has had about 10 minutes to set, pour the custard mixture into the dish or dishes. Fill the baking tray with boiling water from a kettle until the water is about halfway up the sides of the ramekins or dish and cover the baking tray with foil.

Bake 20 min covered, take off the foil and then bake for a further 20-25 uncovered. The custard will still have a jiggle in the centre. Carefully remove from the tray and cool 30 mins at room temperature then transfer to fridge and chill for at least 3 hrs before serving, or overnight.

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