Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Chocolate and orange creme caramel

 I LOVE a chocolate and orange combination with almost any dessert. I have made a couple of different cakes with these flavours and they have been beautiful. This recipe is another from one of my favourites - Karen Martini - Feasting and as I was flicking through her book  the "chocolate orange" heading flew out and hit me straight away! So of course I bumped it up the list of my things to make.

I have actually never made creme caramel's before. I think I've been scared about making them beacause of the toffee side of it and I don't know why because as a child growing up Mum would quite often make 100's of toffees for our school fetes we had and I would watch her carefully pour this hot toffee into patty cases without burning herself or the toffee.

I gave myself a little pep talk and told myself I could pull this off (only if I didn't have all the back ground distractions of TV blaring....someone fighting over the remote control.....someone asking for a drink and 5 minutes later wanting something to eat!!!) who am I kidding....this is NORMAL everyday activities in this place so I should just get on with it. Well I was very proud of my efforts and I can't repeat the words Mr M used to describe his first mouthful......but lets just say he was in heaven!!

You will find this stunning dessert on page 110 of Karen's book.

You will need:
finely grated zest of two oranges
160g dark chocolate buttons
600ml milk
250g caster sugar, plus 3 tablespoons extra
120ml water
4 large eggs
2 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 160 degrees (fan-forced)

Combine the orange zest and chocolate buttons in a small bowl. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, then set aside for 5 minutes.

Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to boil and cook, WITHOUT stirring (very important not to stir) until the mixture is a caramel colour.

At this point you need to very careful.....if you can see the slight colour change in the above picture, well at this point I took the saucepan off the stove as it continues to cook very fast and burns very easily. In this recipe it states to pour the hot toffee into a 20cm ceramic ovenproof dish and swirl it around to coat the sides.

I didn't use one bowl, I used little ramekin dishes and made eight of them.

Working very quickly swirl it around the edges.

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and extra sugar in a medium bowl until well combined. Add the milk mixture and stir until smooth, then pour through a stariner and into your dishes or one dish. Place your dish/dishes in a baking tray and carefully pour hot water into the tray until it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until just set. Remove and allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To serve, run a warm knife around the edge of the dish and invert the creme caramel onto a plate. I sat the bases of my dishes in a bowl of boiling hot water just for a few seconds to help ease them out.

It really was worth my fear of making toffee as the end result was amazing!!

Enjoy! M x

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