Getting a little bit fancy

The authors of one of my cookbooks say that there is a great sense of achievement when you master creme caramel and while I don’t think I’ve quite “mastered” it, I now know what they mean. I was elated when I turned out my first creme caramel and the custard held its shape as all that lovely caramel ran down the sides. It looks so elegant and tastes quite delicate but actually, if you’re able to get the caramel right and the custard at the perfect consistency, it’s quite straightforward.

For me, the caramel was a no-brainer: don’t let the sugar burn. The slight issue I had was that I used palm sugar, which is brown already so I had to just keep a really close eye and nose on it.

Found out that it was a lot easier to chop up palm sugar than grate it, which was what I had been doing - silly! Photo: Tao Lin

Found out that it was a lot easier to chop up palm sugar than grate it, which was what I had been doing – silly! Photo: Tao Lin

The custard was trickier. I don’t think I whisked it enough because there were little bits of cream still floating about when I went to pour it into the ramekins. I also overcooked it a bit because it was very firm and I’m pretty sure it was meant to still wobble when I moved it. No matter, just some points to remember for next time!

Before the oven. Photo: Tao Lin

Before the oven. Photo: Tao Lin

After the oven. Photo: Tao Lin

After the oven. Photo: Tao Lin

What I find interesting with this dessert is the breakdown of the caramel. It sets pretty solidly very quickly after being made but when you turn it out after it’s been refrigerated, it’s runny. I’d have thought it would go really hard sitting in the fridge for hours. This is probably really simple science, as is most, if not all, of baking, but I’m not really one for thinking about science in any sort of depth; I just follow instructions. Anyone care to explain?

I kind of made a wee bit of a mess when getting them out of the ramekins but just pretend you don’t see the ragged edges 😉 I toasted some desiccated coconut and sprinkled it on top for serving.

The recipe I followed was mostly based on one for a coconut creme caramel that I saw being made on My Kitchen Rules. 

Ignore the messy edges! Photo: Tao Lin

Ignore the messy edges! Photo: Tao Lin

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