Sunday, 9 June 2013


The triumph of the crème caramel is in the smooth and creamy texture. Although there are a few variations including the crème brûlée, which has a hard caramel surface, the crème caramel’s soft caramel top distinguishes it from the rest. A classic and ubiquitous dessert in many European countries, it is easy to see the attraction. Few dishes are able to evoke childhood nostalgia as successfully as the crème caramel. This is probably because most regions boast some type of local variation. Delicate creamy custard with the enjoyable contrast of slightly bitter and sweet caramel creates a beautiful binary effect. To effectively ward off the monotony of sweet on sweet, tart and vibrant summer berries add terrific balance to this dish. The ingredients and recipe are as follows:

·         220g caster sugar
·         650 ml whole milk
·         50 ml double cream
·         1 vanilla pod
·         3 whole eggs
·         1 egg yolk
·         Selection of mixed berries

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Place 140 g of sugar with 3 tbsp water in a medium sized non-stick frying pan and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and there is a light brown caramel color
  • Being careful to work fast, divide the caramel into four 150-200 ml ramekins. The caramel cools and hardens quickly so work swiftly to ensure the bottom of the ramekin is entirely coated
  • Without bringing to the boil, warm the milk and cream in a large pan with the seeds of the vanilla pod scraped in
  • Place all eggs into a mixing bowl with the rest of the sugar and whisk until smooth
  • Combine the warm milk and cream with the eggs mixture slowly and whisk gently
  • Strain the mixture through a fine sieve
  • Place the ramekins into a deep oven proof dish and pour boiling water around the outside, about half of the way up the ramekin to create a water bath
  • Cook for 20 minutes in the preheated oven
  • Remove the ramekins from the dish and allow to cool for 10 minutes
  • Place in the fridge for at least an hour to allow to set
  • When ready to serve, detach the crème caramel from the ramekin by running a knife around the edge
  • Place the serving plate over the ramekin and overturn in a swift controlled motion
  • Lift the ramekin and add summer berries around the crème caramel
  • Spoon some of the caramel liquid over the berries for a glossy finish

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