Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Creme Caramel

Creme Caramel 

Classics can never go out of style. 

Made in OTG 

A friend of mine kept saying throughout college that a successful dish is 60% dependent on the recipe and 40% on the person cooking it. This is quite apt for this classic dish.

This is one dish which I have made time and again for almost a decade since my teenage years. It was the very first dessert I had ever made and I have made this steamed in a pressure cooker, baked it in the convection oven and recently I made it in the OTG as well and the time and temperature has varied for each oven. 

If I go by Larousse Gastronomique's recipe it calls for the creme caramel to be steam baked at 190C for 40 minutes. BBC suggests 150C for 30 minutes and so on and so forth. To be fair in the convection mode what worked best was preheating the oven and baking at 180C for 40 minutes but for the OTG while I did preheat it at 180C but after baking it at 180C for 10 minutes when I saw the brown spots forming I lowered the temperature to 160C and baked it for another 20 minutes. Chilled it overnight and the result was a creamy delightful dessert. To be fair it tasted even better after 24 hours of chilling so I suggest that you plan ahead for this classic dessert. 

Here I must confess that I did use some mini ramekins hence the quick baking. Perhaps if I had used 6 ramekins the time would differ so you have to know your oven, keep in mind the size of your ramekin and then set the time but I must say try baking for a longer period at a lower temperature and it gives a fantastic creamy texture. 

Serves 6 to 8 depending on the size of the ramekins used. 

500ml 100% full fat milk (you cannot compromise on the full fat milk else you will not get the creaminess) 
3 large eggs + yolk from 1 egg 
40gm castor sugar 
1/4th scraped vanilla seeds from vanilla pods 

For the caramel 

150gm castor sugar 
A few drops of lemon juice 
2 tbsp water 

Butter for greasing the ramekins 

Start by greasing the moulds with butter.What you do is very simple bring the milk to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes to thicken it a bit. This thickening does help in yielding extra silky texture.

While its simmering take the sugar in a pan and on medium to low heat melt it and let it become golden brown and swirl the pan and add the lemon juice and the water and till it simmer till you get a lovely dark amber colour and use it in your buttered  moulds and let it cool down.   

Let it cool down to a lukewarm stage where you can easily put your finger in the milk and feel the warmth without getting burnt. Whisk the yolk well and add the sugar and then add the eggs one by one whisking well to create a smooth texture and then slowly add the milk after straining it bit by bit and add the vanilla beans . 

Preheat the oven to 180C for 15 minutes . Pour the mixture in the ramekins and then place the ramekins on a tray and fill the tray and fill the tray with  boiling water so that it reaches half the height of the ramekins. Bake for 10 minutes and lower temperature to 160C and bake for another 15 minutes to 20 minutes. 

Let the creme caramel cool down to room temperature and chill it for 24 hours. When you want to de mould it run a blunt knife after dipping it in hot water and wiping it and carefully shake it off on the serving plate.