Cardamom Creme Caramel

Creme Caramel, also known as flan or caramel custard, is a set custard with a thin layer of liquid caramel on top. Originating from Europe, creme caramel is enjoyed across the world in places such as Mexico and Vietnam. It seems fancy but it is incredibly easy for the home cook to make. It also is a blank canvas for different flavorings, varying from citrus to coffee to cardamom. I decided to make a cardamom flavored creme caramel with hints of honey and vanilla.I believe that a cardamom infused custard pairs perfectly with a honey caramel. 

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • For the Custard:
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • ½ cup half-n-half
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 5 pods cardamom, crushed
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 egg yolks
    • ¼ cup sugar
  • For the caramel
    • ⅓ cup sugar
    • 2 tb water
    • Small squeeze of honey

Procedure:

  • For the caramel
    • In a small saucepan, add the sugar, water, and honey and place the pot on medium heat
    • Keep swirling the mixture until it turns a dark amber color.
    • Immediately, pour the mixture evenly into four 4 oz ramekins and spread out on the bottom evenly
    • Allow this mixture to cool at room temperature
  • For the custard
    • Pour the milk, half-n-half, and cardamom into a pot and heat until just under a simmer
    • Once you reach this temperature, keep the heat constant for 3-5 minutes 
    • Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for 15 minutes
    • While the milk mixture infuses, whisk the sugar, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl until homogenous mixture
    • After the milk is done infusing, slowly add it to the egg mixture while simultaneously whisking to prevent the eggs from cooking. 
    • After the milk and egg mixtures are combined, strain the mixture into a vessel with a spout (this will help pouring the custard into the ramekins)
  • Assembly
    • Preheat your oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit
    • Evenly pour the mixture on top of the caramel in the ramekins
    • Transfer the ramekins to a large roasting tray and add boiling water to the tray
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until custard looks jiggly but set
    • Chill for 4-10 hours
  • To Serve:
    • Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin
    • Place a plate upside down on top of the ramekin
    • In one fast motion, flip the ramekin and the plate

Chef’s notes:

  • Only add a small squeeze of honey. The flavor of the honey will become much stronger throughout cooking so one small squeeze is all you need. Adding honey is also important because it will prevent the caramel from crystalizing. If you do not want to use honey, you can use an equal amount of corn syrup. Furthermore, swirling the pot instead of stirring it will prevent the formation of crystals
  • Heat up the milk but do not bring it to a boil. Boiling the milk will ruin the proteins in the milk and so will lead to an undesired texture in the final produce
  • When adding the hot milk to the eggs, make sure you are constantly whisking. If you don’t whisk, the eggs might cook when they come in contact with the hot milk
  • Cooking the eggs in a water bath ensures that the final product is soft and silky. The water bath gently cooks the eggs and so the final product will be soft and smooth
  • Remove the custard from the oven when it is still jiggly because eggs will still keep cooking even after removed from the oven

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s