Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chocolate Creme Caramel

There is something edible in this photo I promise. And no it's not the little kitty kat letter holder that I bought home from Cape Town many years ago. It's this - chocolate creme caramel.

When I started taking photos I realised that it makes a wonderful reflective surface. Here is a portrait of the cord on my iron.

And here you were thinking all these photos were produced in my very own studio with custom lighting, backdrops, the works. LOL!! Oh how I wish!!! No it's a corner of my lounge room by the glass sliding doors where the ironing board hangs out when I'm too lazy to put it away.

And see those pukey apricot vertical blinds. HATE THEM!! Whoever invented those things deserves something very nasty. They refuse to open, they refuse to close, they're impossible to clean and bits keep falling off. Grrrrrrrr!!!!

You may remember the chocolate coconut banana bread I made a while back. Well this creme caramel is the second recipe from Karen Martini's supplement in the Sun Herald that I mentioned.

I have to admit I am in two minds about this recipe. It was quite straightforward to make, so long as you are comfortable with caramel. I generally find that I do not have too much trouble using the water method - where you first melt the sugar in water and then bring it to a boil until you have a lovely golden caramel. Ask me to melt sugar dry in the pan and I will run a mile.

And it does taste delicious - chocolate and caramel with a touch of orange. Yum!! It's important to unmould the creme while it is chilled but to let it come back to room temperature before eating. It improves the taste and texture a dozen fold.

No my problem was with the mouth feel - if you know what I mean. I cooked it exactly as instructed, but when it was chilled a few little balls of white fat formed around the bottom and edges of the creme. I assume from the milk or chocolate. This left a slight kind of grainy fatty feeling in my mouth. Mind you, nobody else noticed it but me. It may have been purely psychosomatic, as I had spent quite a few minutes pondering the little blobs. Who knows?? Next time I may try cooking it at a lower temperature. That may help.

Chocolate Creme Caramel
(adapted from The Sunday Herald)

zest of 1 orange
160gm of dark chocolate, chopped
600 ml milk
250gm castor sugar, plus 3 tbspn (12 tspn)*
120ml water
4 large eggs
3 egg yolks

Combine chocolate and zest in a bowl. Bring milk to a simmer and pour over the chocolate. Stir until smooth and then set aside.

Combine the 250gm of castor sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and leave until it is a golden caramel. Do not stir. Pour into a 20cm ceramic ovenproof dish. Swirl to cover the sides.

Whisk eggs, yolks and the 3 tbspn of sugar. Slowly add the milk mix and stir together. Pour mix through a strainer into the baking dish. Place dish in a baking tray and add hot water until it comes halfway up the dish.

Bake in a 180C conventional or 160C fan forced oven for 75 minutes or until just set. Remove, allow to cool and refrigerate for at least six hours.

To serve, run a knife around the edge of the creme and turn out onto a plate. Allow to return to room temperature before serving.

*This is an Australian recipe. An Australian tablespoon is equal to 4 tspn. An American tablespoon is equal to 3 tspn.


At 1:01 am, Blogger Tempered Woman said...

Well geesh that looks ridiculously good. Like I wouldn't mind testing out that whole mouth feel issue for myself. ;-)
I love the idea of caramel, orange and chocolate~ sounds crazy delish!

At 2:05 am, Blogger grace said...

i appreciate your honest review of your finished product, and i still think it's totally worth a try.

cool pictures! if you think apricot curtains are bad, you should see my drab olive green ones. they should be burned and have the ashes buried at sea.

At 3:46 am, Blogger Deborah said...

It sure does look beautiful! I'm the same as you - I'm ok doing caramel with water, but I always have issued when I try to do straight sugar.

At 10:37 pm, Blogger Cottage Smallholder said...

Your photographs are always stunning KJ.

At 11:57 pm, Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

KJ, your photos are always inspiring, as are your recipes. This is such a rich and beautiful dessert!

At 5:48 am, Blogger Kelly-Jane said...

Well it looks good to me!

At 5:23 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Hi TW, thanks it does taste good.

Hi Grace, LoL. Glad to know I'm not the only one suffering.

Hi Deborah, it's downright scary!

Hi Fiona, thank you.

Hi Patricia, thanks.

Hi KJ, it has a lot of good points.

At 9:17 am, Blogger steph- whisk/spoon said...

"pukey" is a word i need to start using more often! i love creme caramels and flans, partly because of their intriguing reflective properties.


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