Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Taste of France

Well, it has been over three weeks now since I've been back home and despite England feeling a little more like home again, I am still of course pining for my beloved France! So what better way to pretend that I am in fact still living the French life, than by recreating one of their wonderful desserts? At the weekend I had a go at making a crème caramel after stumbling across a very easy recipe by Delia Smith. With it being custard-based, I have to say it is probably one of my favourites and it is actually quite a light way of finishing a meal (as long as we don't think about the amount of sugar/cream it contains!). The French certainly know how to do a good dessert and this was no exception. I was very pleasantly surprised at how straight forward it was to make too, albeit a method I have never used before. The custard mixture cooks in a ramekin that stands in a tin with water in it, so essentially it is steamed. To be honest, the science of how it all works sounds a bit complicated to me. All I know is that it worked beautifully and the end result was divine. I thought I was back in France for a second...and then I looked outside and saw the grey skies and imminent rain. No, I'm definitely in England.


Crème Caramel    makes 6 individual desserts

110g Caster Sugar
150ml Milk
275ml Single Cream
4 Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
40g Soft Brown Sugar
1tbsp Water (from the hot tap)

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Start by making the caramel. Put the sugar in a pan on a medium heat.
  3. When the sugar starts to melt and bubble, stir and continue to cook until it is a regular dark brown colour. (2 shades darker than golden syrup, according to Delia!).
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the water.
  5. Stir until smooth and then quickly pour it evenly into each ramekin, tipping it so it covers the sides a bit. Don't worry if it starts to set at this point as it won't matter once it's cooked.
  6. Now pour the milk and cream into a separate pan and leave it to heat gently. 
  7. Whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl.
  8. Once the milk is steaming hot, pour it onto the egg mixture, whisking until it is blended. 
  9. Pour the liquid into the ramekins and place them in a large roasting tin.
  10. Transfer the tin to the oven and pour cold water in it to surround the dish so it is two thirds full.
  11. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  12. Cool and chill until it is ready to serve.
  13. Remove from the ramekin by running a knife around the edge and then turn it upside down on a plate.
  14. And voilà...enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Another wonderful taste of France in our house!C'était délicieux.