CRÈME CARAMEL WITH A HINT OF RUM

I go through these phases. For instance, when I discovered the joys of herby mushrooms on toast, I remember eating it almost everyday for more than 2 weeks straight! An addictive personality or an obsession, I can’t seem to figure out.

You have those dishes that come into your life with a bang and most often than not, leave with as big an impact (I got so sick of even looking at mushrooms for a long time after my fungi-obsession), and then there are those classics that you never tire of. This recipe I’m pleased to announce, falls under the latter category.

The voluptuous texture of the custard pairs wonderfully with the oh-so-slight booziness of the rum and the caramel topping. As clichéd as it may sound, it really is melt-in-the-mouth good! I personally love the addition of rum and feel like it really highlights the other flavours, but just a bit of vanilla would suffice nicely too. I made 6 ramekins’ worth for 3 of us and devoured half of those myself. When it tastes this good, who needs an excuse? Rhetorical question.

INGREDIENTS: (Serves 6)

Adapted from Margaret Fulton

For the caramel:

1 cup castor sugar

½ cup water

For the custard:

1 ½  cups whole milk

1 cup double cream

2 tablespoons of castor sugar

1 vanilla pod, or 1 tsp of vanilla extract

30 ml dark rum

3 eggs

2 egg yolks

 

METHOD:

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C (320 F) and place a rack in the centre of the oven.

For the caramel:

Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat, swirling the pan gradually until the sugar starts to dissolve. Turn up the heat and let the sugar boil until golden brown (do not stir at this stage, the sugar tends to crystallize).

Make sure the caramel is at the right consistency; it tends to burn easily after it reaches the caramel stage so keep your eyes on the saucepan. Once you have your dark viscous caramel ready, pour into 6 ramekins or a larger mould. Hold the ramekins/mould with a cloth and swirl the caramel around to coat the sides and bottom, working quickly before it reaches a hard set.

For the custard:

Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan over medium heat and add the vanilla seeds and pod to the mixture; add the rum.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, and the sugar until well combined, and then pour in the milk and cream gradually, stirring constantly. Strain through a fine sieve. Pour the custard into the ramekins and place onto a baking dish filled with hot water that comes up halfway up the sides of the ramekins/mould. Bake the smaller ramekins for 40 – 45 minutes and larger mould for 55 – 60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the custard comes out clean. Let cool slightly, before refrigerating for several hours or overnight.

Once completely chilled, loosen out the edges by running a knife around the sides of the mould and turn out onto serving plates.

 

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