- 20 minutes
- 30-40 minutes
FOR THE CARAMEL:
|1 cup (220g) caster sugar|
|¼ cup water|
|FOR THE CUSTARD:|
|4 whole extra large eggs|
|2 extra large egg yolks|
|750ml Liddells Lactose Free Full Cream Milk|
|⅓ cup (70g) caster sugar|
|Pinch of salt|
|1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional|
Ensure mould/moulds are clean and dry go. Place a tea towel in the base of a large baking tin, big enough for your crème caramels to be in a water bath.
Combine the sugar and water for the caramel in a medium saucepan (TIP: use a lighter coloured saucepan – it makes the caramel cooking process easier to see) and stir to combine. Place the saucepan over a medium heat, and cook, stirring intermittently, until the sugar has dissolved. The mixture should be clear.
Once the sugar has dissolved, swirl the saucepan to evenly distribute the heat. Do this intermittently until the sugar begins to brown. How dark you like your caramel is up to you – I like mine a light mahogany. Once it is cooked to your liking, remove it from the heat.
Pour the caramel very carefully into the prepared tins – it is molten sugar and could cause a nasty burn. Working quickly, tilt your pan to swirl the caramel around the base and up the sides a little, so that the caramel is a little lip when the dessert is inverted. It should harden as you work. Note that the tins will heat up very quickly, so you might like to use gloves. .
Allow the caramel to harden in the tin at room temperature. Don’t worry if you hear the caramel crack – it won’t affect the final product. During this time, work on the custard.
Preheat the oven to 160°C, so it’s ready to go.
Place the milk in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, and stir intermittently until the milk is scalding. Remove any skins if they begin to form.
While the milk is heating, very gently whisk together eggs for the custard in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla (if you’re using it) and gently whisk until combined.
Once the milk is ready, decant it into a large pouring jug with a lip. Pour a tiny drizzle at a time into the egg mixture, very gently whisking while you do so. The idea here is to gently heat the egg mixture (by adding the hot milk) without making scrambled eggs. Take your time and pour slowly.
Once all the milk has been incorporated, give the mixture a couple of minutes to cool. Take a fine mesh sieve and very gently pour the milk mixture into your caramel lined tin or tins. Use a spoon to scrape any new bubbles off the surface and discard.
Gently place the crème caramels into the baking dish you have lined, and carefully cover them with foil, if you’re using it. Pour enough water into the dish to come up 3/4 of the side of the tin, and then very carefully place in the oven.
How long to cook them depends on the tin you’re using, but also on your oven. The mixture should jiggle without looking too unstable. You should be able to lightly touch the surface of the caramel without breaking. As a rough guide for individual sizes, I’d recommend checking in at 30 minutes and assessing from there.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. For best results, give your caramel a little time in the fridge. To serve, run a very thin knife around the caramel, flush with the tin. Carefully invert and serve immediately.