upside down creme brulee (creme caramel)

creme caramel

last night I invited some friends over for dinner and made chicken korma bunny chows for mains (will post recipe soon) and these gorgeous mini salted creme caramels for dessert.

I was never a huge fan of creme caramel, in fact I despised it…but that was probably because my mom used to overcook them to the stage where they became rubbery and quite eggy.

However, after increasing the ratio of cream to milk, and making sure that I never left them in the oven for more than 15 minutes, these little pots of vanilla custard were so delicious that my friend referred to them as upside down creme brulees.

Serves 4

200g sugar
100ml water
1 tsp (5ml) Maldon sea salt
1 cup (250ml) full cream milk
1 cup (250ml) cream
½ tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract (I used Organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract!)
2 whole eggs, plus 4 egg yolks
Extra pinch of salt for garnish

Preheat oven to 130°C.
Line up 4 individual ramekins.
Place 100g of sugar into a saucepan and add the water.
Stir over low heat until all the sugar has dissolved.
Add the salt and then increase the heat and boil until syrup turns golden brown.
Working quickly, pour a little caramel into each mould (about 2 tbsp). Set aside until it hardens.
Place milk, cream and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and set side.
Whisk eggs and egg yolks together with the remaining sugar until just combined.
Carefully pour the hot milk mix into the eggs, while continuing to whisk.
Strain mixture into a jug and skim away any foam that rises to the top.
Pour into the caramel coated moulds.
Carefully place filled ramekins into a bain marie (water bath) and bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until just set. It must still wobble when shaken.
Remove from oven and chill in fridge, preferably overnight, before serving.
Run a knife around the edges, then dip quickly in hot water and tip out onto a plate.
Serve with a tiny pinch of extra salt sprinkled on top.

This recipe was especially developed for: Crush magazine

Photographer: Henk Hattingh

Recipe and food styling: Luisa Farelo Hayes

Assistant food stylist: Megan Daniels

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