I might have mentioned this previously, but I have fierce sweet tooth and love desserts. Custard-based desserts rank highly in my favourites.
It is important to cook any baked custard gently at a low temperature or you will end up with something that resembles the texture of scrambled eggs.
If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, you can test what stage your toffee or sauce is up to by placing a small drop of the mixture on a plate, coming in contact with the plate it cools quickly and you can then tell if your mix is going to be a hard toffee or how thick your sauce is going to be. Don’t be tempted to stick a finger into the saucepan to taste or you will end up with a nasty burn.
This recipe idea is a twist on a classic. I have been quite generous with the orange flavour, if you prefer things more subtle, adjust the recipe and only use one orange for the zest and juice, instead of the two listed below.
Orange Crème Caramel
Orange Caramel Sauce
- 150mls of water
- 175g sugar
- juice of 2 oranges
- Generous pinch of salt
- zest of 2 oranges
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 100g sugar
- 600mls cream
- 6 egg yolks
- To infuse the custard mixture, add the cream, orange zest and sugar to a saucepan.
- Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds contained inside, and add the pod and seeds to the cream [or add the vanilla essence].
- Gently heat the cream, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot. Don’t allow the mixture to boil.
- Once you start to see some steam coming of the cream turn the heat off and leave it to the side to allow the flavours to infuse.
- Heat oven to 150°C and boil a full kettle.
- To make the sauce add the water, salt and sugar to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, continue to cook without stirring until the sugar carmalises and turns a golden colour. If you have a sugar thermometer this is around the soft crack stage or 140°C.
- Add the orange juice to the hot toffee, it will and spit and bubble and the toffee will become quite solid. Stirring, continue to cook until the toffee is dissolved in the orange juice, then let the sauce cook without stirring until it thickens slightly. If you have a sugar thermometer this is around the soft ball stage, or 120°C. Allow the caramel to cool slightly.
- Add the egg yolks to the cooled cream mixture. Mix well.
- Add the caramel sauce to the bottom of 6 ramekin dishes. Swirl the sauce to coat the sides slightly. Place the ramekin in a deep dish that will later become their water bath or bain-marie.
- Strain the custard mixture to remove the zest and vanilla bean, then pour into the ramekin dishes. The custard will float above the caramel sauce, but try to pour gently.
- Place the deep dish with its ramekins in the oven. Pour in the water from the kettle – the water should be hot but not freshly boiled if you are using glass ramekins, because the sudden change in temperature may cause the glass to crack.
- Cook in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until set. You still want a slight wobble to your custards. Test by giving a ramekins a little shake to see if it does wobble, or you could insert a butter knife slightly into the custard and see if the custard pulls away, if it is too runny it won’t part.
- Remove dish from oven and remove ramekins from the hot water to cool, refrigerate until cold or you are ready to serve.
- To serve, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin to break the seal and make sure the custard doesn’t stick. Place a plate on top of the ramekin then flip the plate & ramekin over. Gently remove the ramekin to unmold the custard with its citrus caramel sauce. Enjoy.
What is your favourite custard recipe? Has this post inspired any new ideas?