I have made creme caramel too many times. This french dessert is creamy, sweet, and satisfies anyones need for caramel. It is also super easy!!!. The recipe I use to make the flan part (the creamy eggy light yellow bottom) is found here. The recipe is by celebrity chef Laura Calder and she has a great french food cooking show on the food network. She shared a bunch of tips for making this recipe, however there is a much easier way of making the caramel part of the flan (the rich brown caramel top).
I made three creme caramels over the winter holidays testing out different ways of making the caramel. In these pictures I used Laura’s way of boiling water and sugar until brownish. The only problem I had was that the caramel switches from light yellow to brown so fast and continues to boil even after putting it in the glass dish. This causes it to boil and burn. I tried many times to take it off before turning brown, but the water and sugar method ultimately failed for me.
I found that using a pan, you can add about a cup of sugar, (or more if you want lots of caramel) and just let the sugar simmer alone on medium to high heat. I found that shaking the pan slightly and tilting it over the heat helped to blend the melted sugar together with the solid sugar. This way has way more control over how fast the sugar heats and boils and I avoided burnt caramel!
This youtube video really helped me understand how to cook the caramel:
A few tips:
Take the caramel off the heat as soon as you see it turning orangey
If the caramel is brown, it is burnt (the caramel in these images is slightly burnt as I used the water + sugar method of making caramel and not the plain sugar method I suggest)
Yellow caramel has a really nice delicate taste, orange caramel has a nice rich taste. Both are yummy!
Tilting the pan helps mix the melting sugar around. Tilt slowly. Using a spoon is really messy!
If I burn the caramel, I soaked the dish in hot water and crack the caramel with a spoon. After awhile you should be able to crack all the caramel out of your dish and restart
So here is my altered version of Laura Calder’s creme caramel:
1 cup sugar (for the topping)
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
Preheat the over to 325°F/160°C and bring a kettle of water to boil.
On medium-high heat, carefully melt 1 cup of sugar, tilt the pan to help mix the melted and unmelted sugar together, until orangey and caramelly.
Quickly pour the melted sugar/ caramel into a cake tin and swirl to coat the bottom evenly. Set aside.
Pour the milk into the same pan, add the vanilla extract, and bring to the boiling point. Turn off the heat, set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the eggs with the remaining sugar, then whisk the milk/vanilla mixture into the egg/sugar mixture.
Strain the custard over the hardened caramel and the set the pan in a larger dish or roasting pan. Pour boiled water into the bottom pan to come half-way up the sides of the flan. Transfer to the oven and bake until set, 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove the flan from the oven and from the water bath. Run a knife around the outside edge to loosen the flan. Cool completely – even chill, if you like. To serve, flip the flan onto a plate, pour over any caramel remaining in the pan. Serve in wedges.
Read more at http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/creme-caramel-2/8300/#GLC81jG4P7I87VTP.99