The perfect dinner party dessert that doesn't take hours to prepare and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser every time is the classic Creme Caramel!
In a small pot pour in the granulated sugar and pour the cold water over, careful not to splash or stir this mixture. Place on the stove, medium heat and do not stir. The water will evapourate off and eventually the syrup will begin to caramelize. Cook the caramel until golden amber colour. Make sure to pull the pot off the heat before it reaches the desired stage, as it will have residual heat and keep browning well after. Have your ramekins or dishes out so when your caramel is ready to pour, your dishes are already handy.
375g whole milk
375g heavy cream (35%MF or whipping cream)
150g whole eggs
!/2 vanilla bean scraped or a piece of citrus peel for infusion
In a medium small pot, bring the cream and milk and half the sugar to a boil and remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, slightly whisk the yolks, eggs and rest of sugar to break up the eggs, do not overmix and create foam. Just lightly mix.
Slowly temper or add the hot cream mixture a small amount at a time and mix gently scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition, with a small spatula. Once the mixture has 2/3's of the hot cream mixture added little by little, add the rest of the hot liquid in. Stir and strain in a new bowl.
Pour into the caramel lined ramekins, there should be about 1 cm of caramel in the bottom of each dish. It should have cooled and hardened while making the custard. Pour the custard mixture in to 3/4 of the way up the ramekin.
Place these in a baking dish large and deep enough to hold the dishes and the hot water. Pour some hot water into the baking dish, careful not to splash into the custards and to come up about 3/4 of the way up the filled ramekins. Careful not to overfill with water, it will be heavy, making it difficult to transfer to the oven and keep level.
Have your oven preheated to 300F. Place a rack in the middle.
Once filled with hot water, cover the whole top with foil and wrap slightly tight around the edges, not too tight.
Place in the oven and check in the first 40 minutes and give one of the ramekins a bit of a jiggle to see if the custard moves. If it is still liquid, then wait a bit longer to check again (maybe 10 minute intervals). If the custard moves all at once, from the center outwards, its ready!
Carefully remove the whole baking dish from the oven. If you have a pair of tongs to be able to remove each ramekin from the water bath and place on the counter to cool and then into the fridge until ready to serve.
Run your knife around the inside edge and quickly turn the ramekin upside down onto the serving plate of choice. Give the ramekin a bit of a wiggle where you would like it to land. Gently it will come out and the caramel along with it, making a gorgeous platted custard with a caramel sauce too!