Wednesday, March 24, 2010

creme caramel: love at the end of the world



I think the weather isn’t sure if it wants to give us an early spring or torment us with random yucky weather. Yesterday was a stay-in-bed-and-read-while-it-rains kind of a day (although I didn’t get to stay in bed because I had an exam – which I passed!) but today it’s sunny and warm…er. Not that warm but definitely an improvement. Let’s just hope it stays this way so I can wear my new spring jacket! Spring just makes me so happy. The trees are starting to bud, the tulips will soon make their appearances, though not for long before the squirrels eat them up and it’s a time for new beginnings! I’m really excited about where my life is headed towards and I can’t wait to see what else is in store. I’ve met some really great people in my class who make going to school that much more enjoyable.


 I’ve also been learning a lot of new things, namely, classic French desserts.

When you think of French desserts, so many options come to mind. Crème brulée, macarons, éclairs…but there is one that is so simple and classic that many seem to forget: crème caramel. Now, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea because of the somewhat “eggy” taste (I know she doesn’t like it, but she also confessed to not liking Cadbury cream eggs which, in my opinion is a sin), but it has truly grown on me. The creamy texture, the sweetness of the perfectly cooked caramel…it’s all plate-lickin’ good! (Don’t judge me)


I made a batch when I was practicing for my creams exam (poor me, I know) and I brought some to my coworkers and I swear they inhaled them in about 4 seconds. I was actually quite shocked because I wasn’t sure if they would like the taste but they seemed to love it! My mom used to make crème caramel, but to be honest it was so long ago that I don’t even remember anything about them. I was also starting to feel bad for the beautiful old cups we have from Turkey sitting in the cupboard. (But they have no feelings!) So out they came into the sunshine and then I cruelly shoved them into the oven where they magically transformed into deliciousnesses (yeah, that’s a word) for my taste buds. And the individual serving sizes are perfect to satisfy those sweet cravings. Just please ignore the hap hazardous final look. I had some qualms with the knife when it decided that it didn’t want to let my crème caramel go free. Tricky little buggers.


Crème Caramel

Serves 6-8 cups, depending on the size of the mold used

Ingredients

For the caramel:
¼ cup (50 ml) water
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
For the crème:
2 cups (500 ml) milk
3 eggs
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla

Procedure
 
Prepare caramel by putting the water and sugar into a small pot over medium-high heat until the sugar begins to caramelize and turn into an amber colour. DO NOT STIR at all once sugar and water are in the pot! This can take about 10 minutes.

Once the caramel is ready, immediately dip the bottom of the pot in a prepared ice bath for one or two second (and no more) to stop the caramel from cooking and wipe the bottom of the pan. Pour quickly into cups and swirl to coat the bottom completely with each having a relatively thin, even layer. Set aside.
 
Warm up the milk in a pot until it’s hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl and slowly add the warm milk to temper the eggs. Add the rest of the milk and vanilla and strain the mixture back into the pot (to remove any pieces of possible cooked eggs). Transfer into some kind of a beaker (I use a Pyrex measuring cup) or use a ladle and pour evenly into caramel cups. Be careful not to fill them too high.

Place cups in cake pans or a high-rimmed baking pan to make a bain-marie with hot water going half-way up the sides of the pan. Careful not get water into the cups.

Bake at 350oF for 35-45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out slightly wet with dry clumps. If it’s too wet, it needs a bit more time, but careful not to cook too much, otherwise if it comes out completely clean, it will be too rubbery.
 
Let sit until cool and preferably refrigerate overnight or at least a couple of hours. To remove from cups, use a knife to carefully go around the sides and jiggle out the crème and turn upside down into a plate. Serve alone or with fruits and whipped cream.

2 comments:

  1. she likes your post.
    and she likes your pictures.
    and she likes you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great recipe! Your photos and your recipes are wonderful!

    ReplyDelete

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