Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eggs as Dessert

These pretty looking eggs are all natural and are available from Fair Food Farmstand
"You've got to go slowly or you'll end with scrambled eggs," warned a helpful friend last week when I mentioned that I was planning to make creme caramel for the first time.  (Tired of writing about savory egg dishes, I thought now is my chance to go sweet...)

While I despise both the ready made refrigerated version of creme caramel or 'flan' as it is marketed in retail grocers, and also the packet version to which you "simply add milk," I'll happily order creme caramel or a creme brulee anytime I see it on the dessert menu at a good restaurant.

With my friend's warning ringing in my ears, I set to work.  Found a five-star recipe on and pre-heated the oven...

As I'm trying to use less refined food, I'm only cooking with brown sugar these days.  I didn't expect this to be a problem until I started boiling up the proto-caramel mixture and read the directions which said "boil until the syrup turns golden brown."  Useful that.  The sugar water started off brown - so how can one tell when it's done?

I guessed.

Same recipe instructed me to "whisk" in hot milk mixture to the egg yolk and sugar and vanilla, yet exhorted me to avoid whisking "to prevent excess bubbles."  Now I'm really confused. Why use a whisk if the intention is to avoid aerating the mixture?  Why not use a wooden spoon and gently stir in the hot milk?

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  So I must report back on the end results...

Naaaaaah.  This recipe didn't work for me.  I thought the creme caramel custard was too sweet by far and even though I was using mexican vanilla essence, which according to Penzey's Spices is supposed to be the best quality, I thought it needed more vanilla than the recipe called for.

Win some; lose some.  These looked good (I grated cinnamon sugar crystals over the top of each ramekin, which at least made it look a little more interesting..."

Do you have a creme caramel recipe you'd recommend? 

Or do you add a little something extra to your recipe to give it a sparkle? 

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