[Simplest crème caramel]

creme caramel

When I look back, I realise that most of my days were spent lightly, even jokingly, complaining about how I never have enough time to turn all my ideas into real projects, how I’m always lacking that precious extra second.

All of a sudden, confronted with the unconfrontable, I didn’t have the choice but grasp the full measure of this situation, and the light and joking part of it disappeared.

Though hours, days and even months.

How in the world hadn’t I found the time – for those past twenty-three years – to make crème caramel?

I mean, my favourite dessert. And no time to make it.

These were totally impossible circumstances.

Sure, I was fed on my mother’s crème aux oeufs. Sure, I always ordered crème caramel when dining out. Sure, I make the most insanely delicious crème renversée au chocolat.

creme caramel

No crème caramel to be seen – or perhaps more appropriately – devoured.

You see, this is how I had first thought of introducing you this luscious crème caramel, inspired by Neil Perry but also by Linda.

And then came that show on much disregarded france 3.

Yes, that show about women in the fine food industry: somelières, cuisinières, maîtres d’hôtel or pâtissières. Seeing them being excited about what they do made my knees weaken, my stomach tear and my head spin.

creme caramel

And just as I’m writing this – live, really – I’m overwhelmed with an intense feeling of happiness, and the most definite anticipation.

While I used to count seconds backwards – wishing for extra hours to make my dreams come true – I’m now living them, and truly looking forward next semester during which I’ll finally start my pâtisserie training.

I am thrilled. Unstoppable. With joy-induced tears filling my eyes (who knew contact lenses could survive to such floods?).

creme caramel

Crème caramel toute simple
Inspired by Neil Perry’s The food I love.

This might be the simplest thing to make and yet it is one of my favourite dessert. I do seriously think I’ll choose crème caramel over any other fondants au chocolat or ice creams.

As you’ll see from the recipe, the baking time is quite loose as it really depends on your oven. I baked mine for 40 minutes and they turned out perfect.

The only thing that went wrong is the lack of runny caramel – but this is entirely my fault. I should have leaft the crèmes to chill overnight and not for just a couple of hours. Oh well, not too bad for a first time anyway.

Crème caramel toute simple

serves 6

for the custard
1000g milk
115g caster sugar
one vanilla pod, split with seeds scraped out
6 egg yolks
6 eggs

for the caramel
225g caster sugar
125g water

Combine the milk, sugar, and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool down for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, get the caramel ready. Bring the sugar and water to a gentle simmer, and cook until light amber. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour 50g of caramel into one 250ml mould, and repeat with the remaining five. Swirl to coat the moulds halfway up their sides with the caramel. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Lightly mix the eggs and yolks in a bowl. Strain the cooled milk mixture into the egg mixture, slowly whisking. Strain again and pour into the prepared moulds. Place the moulds inside the tin and fill the tin with hot water until it reaches halfway-up the sides of the moulds.

Cover the tin with foil, and place in the centre of the oven to cook for 30-45 minutes, or until set.
Allow to cool, then store in the fridge overnight.

When ready to serve, carefully run a knife around the inside of the mould and jiggle the mould to loosen the custard. Place the serving plate on top and quickly upturn the crème caramel and slowly remove the mould, allowing the caramel to gently spill down the edges of the dessert.

pour 6 personnes

pour la crème
1000g lait
115g sucre poudre
une gousse de vanille fendue en deux
6 jaunes d’oeufs
6 oeufs

pour le caramel
225g sucre poudre
125g eau

Mettre le lait, sucre et la gousse de vanille dans une casserole et porter à ébullition. Réserver.

Pendant ce temps, préparer le caramel en cuisant le sucre et l’eau à feu doux jusqu’à obtention d’un caramel coloré. Puis le répartir immédiatement dans six moules de 250mL en n’en recouvrant le fond ainsi que les parois.

Préchauffer le four à 190°C.
Mélanger les jaunes d’œufs et les œufs dans un bol puis y ajouter le lait passé au chinois.
Chinoiser à nouveau la préparation, puis la diviser dans les moules préparés.

Cuire au bain-marie pendant 30 à 45 minutes. Laisser refroidir puis réserver au froid pendant au moins huit heures.

Au moment de servir, faire glisser la lame d’un couteau entre le flan et le moule puis retourner dans des assiettes légèrement creuses.