Last week-end we had our friends at home coming with their son Yoann, my husband’s godson. I wanted to make a few desserts that may make him happy even if biscuits such as “Barquettes” or “Granola” make him a lot more happy, he appreciated it and so did the adults!
Many friends tell me they are scared about making Caramel Cream because of the Caramel making…..
As a matter of fact, Caramel Cream is easy and requires only a few common ingredients…
Ingredients for the Caramel
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 tsp water (optional)
Ingredients for the Custard
Makes 4 to 6 creams
- 500ml of whole milk
- 100g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Method for the Caramel
Prepare 4 to 6 small soufflé dishes.
Making caramel scares a lot of people but despites common belief it is very easy if you just stick to one rule:
When you start making caramel, don’t do anything else.
The caramel process can go very fast which means it can burn within seconds. You really need to look at it and only at it!
Another rule is to work with a thick bottom pan in order to have a better control on the cooking of the caramel.
Once you have your pan and that your phone is switched off, kids and husband away or locked next door… you can start!
Put the sugar and the water in a pan and place it over a medium heat. The water is optional but it can help at the beginning…. it will help to dissolve the sugar and prevent the sugar from burning at one side of your pan when the other will remain dry.
So, the sugar will dissolve then start to color. Once it becomes golden brown, pour it straight away in the soufflé dishes otherwise it will burn or get as hard as a rock. You can bend and rotate the dishes in order to get the sides coated with caramel.
Keep the pan on the side as you will reuse it for the custard…
Method for the Custard
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scrap the seeds with a sharp knife.
Pour the milk, vanilla seeds and pod (or the vanilla extract) into the pan containing the rest of the caramel, bring it to a boil and let it infuse for a few minutes.
If you don’t want to use the same pan because it will slightly color your caramel cream but still need to wash it, here is a little trick. Pour water in it and bring it to a boil, the caramel leftovers will dissolves and your pan will be almost as clean as before!
In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until it gets slightly white and foamy.
Pour the milk on top of the mix and keep on whisking.
Pass the mix through a sieve in order to get rid of the mousse.
Place the soufflés dishes in a bain-marie tray lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. It will stabilize them and you won’t have to deal with sliding dishes when putting them in the oven.
Pour the custard in the soufflés dishes.
Pour boiling water in the bain-marie until it reaches half the height of the dish.
Cook the custard 30 to 35 minutes. The custard is cooked when there is no more liquid coming out of the custard when piercing it with a skewer.
Keep them refrigerated until they have completely cooled down.
Using a sharp knife, loose the cream around the sides, put a plate on top then turn it upside down and give it a hefty shake. The cream will get surrounded by the caramel.
There is an alternative to that method. Our friend Gaëlle reminded me of it this week-end as we were speaking about the Caramel Cream we used to have as we were kids…. I was telling her that I used to be found of the “Flamby” which is a French brand of Caramel Cream that you used to get out of its container by pulling the tongue on top in order to introduce air in it…
And she told me that in her family, they used to share a large caramel cream deeply plunged in caramel. Her souvenir is much nicer than mine and requires more skills than just going to the shop next door and by your set of “Flamby”!
In order to do that large Caramel Cream, you just have to prepare a larger quantity of caramel (2 – 3 times the amount in the recipe) and coat a large soufflé dish with it.
Then just make the custard as described previously and cook it a bit longer (10-15 minutes longer or until is no more liquid coming out of the custard when piercing it with a skewer).
Use a deep flat dish to present it. It will be surrounded with caramel and your friends and/or family will have a great time sharing it!