I love creme caramel. I like to think of it as a slightly healthier version of my favourite dessert, creme brulee. Yes, I know I’m kidding myself. Hubs has a rather disgusting habit of being able to eat a whole shop-bought creme caramel in one slurpy mouthful.
I’m a recent convert to using a slow cooker and decided that if a slow cooker can be used for steaming things like Christmas pudding, surely it can be used as a water bath for other puddings like creme caramel. When cooking something in a water bath you are using the qualities of water to regulate the cooking temperature. Water boils at 100ºc so if something is imersed in water the cooking temperature can’t go above 100ºc. This is good for dishes that feature a baked custard.
Passion fruits are very popular with me at the moment. It is sweet, sour, fragrant taste that ticks so many boxes. It makes up for the fact it looks a bit like frog spawn. Passion fruit seeds can be a bit bitter, especially when heated. With my taste buds, that are currently a bit screwed, I like bitter flavours. Hubs however isn’t as keen. If you don’t like too much bitterness just use sieved passion fruit pulp in the bottom and leave the seeds for when you are serving the creme caramel.
You can make creme caramel as one giant one, but I prefer to make them as individual portions. I use dariole moulds to do this. They are the metal mini pudding moulds you see.
Passion Fruit & Coconut Creme Caramel
Makes 3 (dariole sized)
For the caramel
- 90g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp warm water
- pulp of 2 passion fruits
For the custard
- 75ml whole milk
- 140ml coconut milk
- 2 eggs, large
- Share the passion fruit pulp between the 3 darioles. If you don’t want the seeds in the caramel (as they can sometimes be a bit bitter), warm the pulp and sieve it.
- Now make the caramel. Put the sugar in a heavy based saucepan on a medium heat. After about 5 minutes you’ll notice the sugar begin to melt on the edges of the pan. Resist the urge to stir as this can encourage crystallisation. Instead give the pan a good shake, then leave on the heat until around ¼ of the sugar has melted.
- Give the sugar a stir and continue to heat until all the sugar has melted and has a golden honey colour. Don’t over do it or you’ll have bitter, burnt caramel. Take off the heat and add the tbsp of warm water. Be careful it may splutter. Stir this water into the caramel. Pour about 1tbsp of the caramel into each dariole and swirl it around leaving a few tablespoons of the caramel in the pan. Note: do this by eye, DON’T measure with a spoon. Although it doesn’t look it, sugar gets very hot and you are at risk of burning yourself. Sugar burns aren’t nice (just ask Hubs).
- Put the milk and coconut milk in the pan with the remaining caramel. While whisking slowly heat up the creamy mixture until the caramel is all melted, then remove from the heat. This does take a few minutes so be patient.
- In a large bowl whisk your 2 eggs then slowly pour your warmed milk and whisk this until well combined. Pass this custard through a fine sieve into a jug then share this custard between the three darioles.
- Place the dariole moulds on the bottom of your slow cooker and pour boiling water in until it comes half the way up your moulds. Put the lid on and cook on low for 1 – 1 ¼ hours. The creme caramels are ready when the centre feels firm and springy in the centre. Remove from the slow cooker, cover in cling film and chill for several hours.
- Like jelly there is various ways of getting out of the mould. Either loosen the sides with a palette knife before turning out, briefly dunk dariole in hot water or gently heat the outside of the mould with hairdryer or blow torch.