Caramel Custard, the best childhood treat ever!! Everybody would love its glassy shiny look, its silky texture. This European dessert is a popular and quite a common dessert item in most of the Kerala homes. This is very similar to the Indian Telugu sweet dish called Junnu, by taste and texture. Junnu is made with the milk of the lactating cow that gave birth to calves which are collected for the first 3 to 7 days. Hmm, a very interesting note..
I am not really a dessert person. But I thought to start my blog with a sweet dish as I have seen that ‘sweet’ is very good to start for anything auspicious. I have a very old story to say about this dish. It takes me to my childhood. I saw this dessert for the first time when my brother made this when we were in school. Our parents were not there at home and he made that and we three had just finished it in minutes without even keeping a share for our dad and mom! 😉 I don’t remember how he made this dish at that time. I just remember that the taste was awesome. After all these years it tastes the same. I still get that yummy taste whenever I am served this dessert swimming in a pool of caramel sauce!! I love it’s creamy flavor. Cooking it at our home take away the burden of buying some expensive desserts from shops.
Caramel Custard is very simple, easy to prepare and a popular dessert with a layer of caramel on top and has a good amount of calcium, protein and energy. The ingredients are easily available in your pantry. It is a light soft luscious baked dessert chilled and turned out of the mould. It is a good alternative for the ones who hate drinking plain milk. It is called as Cream Caramel here in Kinshasa, once a French colony, and in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay. Cream Caramel is not the same as cream au caramel, which is a caramel flavored cream dessert. This is called as Flan or Flan de Leche in Portuguese, Philippines, Latin America and Spanish speaking countries. This dish is served with fruit topping in France and Britain, with one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream in Cuba and in some other places with coconut or rum raisin topping. People often get confused with the difference between caramel custard and crèam brulee (burnt cream). Caramel Custard has a soft layer of caramel on top whereas crèam brulee is made of cream with hard caramel top.
Caramel is beige to dark brown confectionary product made by heating of sugar. It is used as a flavor in puddings and desserts, as a topping for ice cream, custards and caramel corn. Caramelization is the removal of water from sugar. The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 170 degree celsius (340 degree Fahrenheit). As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re-form in to compounds with a different color and flavor. Experienced people sometimes do not add water while melting sugar till caramelized stage, but one really needs practice or else the caramel would burn. . The recipe I featured here is something I have perfected over the period of time. I made this so many times to get a perfectly balanced caramel custard taste. I am happy with this recipe. So why not give it a try by yourself? So here it goes…
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Number of Servings: 10
Sugar – ¼ cup + 3 tbsp for caramelizing
Water – 2 tbsp
Eggs – 3 small
Sweetened Condensed Milk – 3 tins of 78 grams each
Milk – 2 cups (½ litre)
Vanilla Essence – 2 tsp
(1) Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C (Gas Mark 4).
(2) Lightly grease the dessert baking mould with butter and keep it aside.
(3) Start by making the Caramel: In a heavy bottom pan add ¼ cup of sugar and swirl the pan to help it to melt down. Turn the stove knob to medium heat.
(4) Let the caramel come to a boil and allow it to bubble up until they turn golden or dark brown syrup depending on the colour you want. Reduce the heat to medium low. Keep swirling the pan, but do not stir which results a sticky caramel.
(5) Switch off the flame and remove it from the stove.
(6) Pour the caramel in to the greased baking mould, tilt the pan, so that the caramel gets evenly coated on the base and sides of the mould and keep aside. Let it settle by cooling.
(7) To make the Custard: In a large bowl beat the eggs with yolk with an egg beater till fluffy.
(8) Add in sweetened condensed milk and mix well with an immersion blender.
(9) To this add milk, sugar and vanilla essence one after the other and blend well until sugar is completely blended with eggs.
(10) Strain this Custard mixture through a sieve to remove undissolved egg white strands and to remove bubbles, so that we get smooth texture custard.
(11) Pour the custard mixture in to the baking mould.
(12) Cover the mould with an aluminium foil or with grease proof paper. If you want you can tie it firmly with a string.
(13) In the meantime, keep a pan on the stove with water for boiling.
(14) Now prepare a hot water bath (Bain Marie method) – Take a bigger pan or any other oven safe tray and fill half way with steaming hot water.
(15) Now place the baking mould carefully in to the hot water tray (be very careful at this stage) and slide in to the oven. The hot water should be up to one third of the baking mould.
(16) Bake at 350 F for 45 – 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. If it is not done you will have to cook it for some more time. The texture of the caramel custard should be wiggly at this stage.
(17) Remove the dessert mould from the oven carefully and cool on wire rack.
(18) Let it cool for half an hour. Wrap it with a plastic sheet and refrigerate it for around two hours.
(19) For serving: Now the un moulding part- release the sides (between pudding and dessert pan edge) with a knife and place the serving plate on top of the mould and holding the custard pan carefully invert it. If you have a doubt that it may not come out of the mould easily tap the top of the mould gently after inverting and then lift the mould and allow the custard to unmold itself from the mold. Now your delicious caramel custard is ready to be served.
(20) Serve warm or chilled. Enjoy this yummy feast.. 😉
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