Christmas is round the corner and tis the season to cheer, laugh, bake and share a meal with your friends and family! Though I love to cook for my guests when we invite them over, often I skip making the dessert – so much hassle, will it bake properly, – I would rather order an ice cream!!
This Christmas I wanted to get over my “Dessertcookophobia” (fear-of-making-desserts 🧁 🍨 😃 😄 😀 ) and wanted to serve something home-made.
After wondering what to make for days, I wanted an European dessert to complement the English themed Christmas spread – I zeroed in on this one! I felt that in the world of desserts that there’s nothing better than a perfectly baked Caramel Custard – a truly timeless dessert!
I have eaten Caramel custard at numerous places, I vividly remember the one we recently tried during our Pondicherry trip – so utterly smooth and delicious, but more on that later! 😉 But baking it at home? How would it turn out to be – shouldn’t be too lumpy or too sweet. But the recipe turned out to be pretty awesome!
It’s easy to bake and the ingredients are also quite handy in every home. Give it a try this Christmas! Off to bake!!!
For the caramel
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp water
For the custard
- 2 and 1/2 cups of warm milk
- 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1tsp Vanilla
Preheat oven to 180°C in convention/ baking mode.
Making the Caramel
For the caramel, heat 1/2 cup sugar in a heavy bottom saucepan over low heat. Keep stirring continuously, as the sugar starts melting, careful that it doesn’t burn. When you see all the sugar has melted into golden caramel, quickly add the water while you keep stirring the caramel with one hand. When you add the water, the caramel will turn a bit frothy and proably a shade darker. Stir for another 5 seconds and take it off the stove.
Pour it equally into the ramekins or into the dish of your choice and tilt the bowls to spread them equally. Do one ramekin at a time, since the caramel will set within seconds once you pour over the bowls. Allow this syrup to cool and harden in the ramekins.
Top Tip: Adding water to the caramel is a trick to stop it from burning too soon and to stop it from becoming too sticky in the pan/ramekins once it cools. But please be careful while you add the water. It creates quite a violent reaction forming very hot steam which may cause burns.
For making the custard
Mix eggs, 1/3 cup sugar, the vanilla and salt in medium bowl. Gradually stir in milk. I use an electric hand blender at its lowest speed to mix the ingredients, which helps in getting a very smooth mixture. Pour this syrup over into the ramekins. Don’t fill the ramekins to the bbrim, but allow it to have some room to rise.
Top tip: For a richer taste, you can also sprinkle some grated nutmeg on top of the custard.
Now place ramekins in a rectangular bake dish or big pan and pour very hot water into the pan so that the water level comes up to atleast 3/4 of height of the ramekins.
Once the oven is preheated to the desired temperature, carefully place the bake dishes inside the oven. Now bake in bake/convection mode of the oven for about 45 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean.
Once done, remove ramekins from water. Cool 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until serving. When serving, take a thin knife and gently run it along the edge of the ramekin, loosening up the custard. Now place a plate over the top of of the ramekin and gently turn it upside down to release the custard.
Serving tip: Before serving, place the cold ramekins in a hot water bath for about 3-4 min. This not only makes it easier to take the custuard out of the bowls, but also slightly melts the caramel at the bottom – ensuring a heavenly taste!!
Give this a try this Christmas and do let me know how it was!! Till then – Happy Holidays friends! 😃