When you’re learning a new language there’s usually a lesson on food quite early in the course. Food vocabulary is really important when you get to your destination, since you’ll want to buy meals quite frequently. Food lessons give you an insight into culture too. Applying these lessons needn’t wait until you travel overseas – why not visit a restaurant or bake a treat to get into the swing of things?
James has been learning French, which has turned out to be an excellent source of food inspiration. A listening exercise gave us a crêpe recipe, and the resulting spinach and fetta crêpes made a great change from pasta and rice for dinner. To follow up from a French main you need a delicious dessert, and crème caramel is a perfect choice.
Crème caramel is a baked custard with caramel sauce. This one is rich and eggy, with a simple caramel sauce. After reading this month’s Donna Hay magazine I’d be tempted to try some flavour variations, particularly an orange version. It’s nice to start simple though, and traditional crème caramel is beautifully smooth and fulfilling.
Recipe adapted from the Hampden Park Public School 30th Anniversary Cookbook.
Ingredients for the sauce
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1/3 cup water
Ingredients for the custard
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup thickened cream (we used light cream)
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 tabs golden syrup
1. Preheat oven to 160 ∘C
2. Heat caster sugar and water until dissolved, then increase the heat and boil without stirring for 5-8 minutes or until golden.
3. Pour evenly between 8 half-cup ramekins and allow to set.
4. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat to a simmer without boiling. Remove from heat.
5. Whisk eggs, yolks, brown sugar and golden syrup together in a heat-proof bowl.
6. Gradually whisk the the warmed milk mixture into the egg mixture.
7. Pour this over the caramel in the ramekins.
8. Put the ramekins in a large baking tray and fill with hot water to half-way up the ramekins.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 mins until the custards have set.
10. Allow to cool before serving.