Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Minimalist Caramel Custard

Caramel custard is a dessert that uses minimal ingredients but looks fancy enough to impress your date.

If you're worried about the chemistry or scientific accuracy behind baking, fear not. You can make caramel custard right on your stove.

No more wondering what's the difference between baking powder and baking soda or if your oven temperature is actually what the dial says. Just use a timer, keep the water temperature low when you steam the custards, and don't be afraid to get a nice dark color on the caramel--the slight bitterness makes it pop.

Minimalist Caramel Custard
Adapted from Cooking with Dog

Cooking Time:
45 minutes, 15 active

4 non-bakers

4 ramekins, greased (a good trick is to smear with oil or butter using a bunched up piece of plastic wrap)
Pot large enough for 4 ramekins, with a lid
Small saucepan
Aluminum foil, cut into four pieces to act as lids for the ramekins
Kitchen towel 
Fine mesh strainer
Measuring cup

1 cup of milk (we use 2%)
9 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons water

1. Place an evenly folded kitchen towel and 4 ramekins in a large pot. Fill it up with enough water to reach halfway up ramekins. Remove ramekins and bring the water up to the lowest simmer possible.

2. Heat 4 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan over medium heat to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Swirl caramel in saucepan every now and then. The caramel can burn easily, so KEEP AN EYE ON IT. It should turn golden and then light brown. At this point, remove from heat and swirl in remaining 2 tablespoons water.

3. Pour caramel directly into 4 greased ramekins, eyeballing to make sure that each has an even amount. Tilt ramekins so caramel distributes evenly. Work quickly--the caramel hardens as it cools.

4. Beat two eggs gently in a mixing bowl using a whisk. Keep whisk in contact with bottom of the bowl so only a small amount of air gets incorporated into the eggs. Set aside.

5. Dissolve 5 tablespoons sugar into the milk in a small saucepan over low heat.

6. Gently whisk milk mixture into the mixing bowl with the beaten eggs. Add vanilla extract and salt. Pour over a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup, preferably with a spout to make pouring easier.

7. Pour custard mixture evenly into the 4 ramekins. Cover tightly with aluminum foil lids and gently place on top of the kitchen towel in the pot of water. Cover pot with a lid.

8. Steam custards for 17-20 minutes over the lowest simmer possible. Lift one of the foil lids to check that the custard is solid (a knife inserted into the custard should come out fairly clean).

9. Cool down custards in a fridge or in an ice bath, depending on how impatient/hungry you are. When they're cooled, carefully slide a knife all around the edge to loosen custard. Flip the ramekin upside down onto a plate to unmold custard.

10. Allow the caramel stuck in the ramekin to artfully drip onto plate.

1 comment:

  1. This looks soo good! Will have to try it out soon. Thanks for the recipe.