Saturday 13 April 2013

Baked Caramel Custard Recipe

Custards in one form or anther have been prepared since at least ancient Roman times and Apicius has several recipes in his De Re Coquinaria (On Cooking). It was the Victorians, however, who developed them into may variants, tough they were mainly considered as 'nursery food', suitable for chicken (you will find several recipes in Victorian cookery books).

This version is a more sophisticated dish with a deep caramel flavour that makes an elegant dessert when served with fresh fruit.

Baked Caramel Custard

Serves: 6-8
Baked caramel custard served with cream and strawberries


2 tsp vanilla extract
425ml (1 3/4 cups) double cream
250g (1 1/4 cups) sugar
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
thick cream and mixed fresh fruit, to serve


Place 175g (generous 3/4 cup) of the sugar in a heavy-based pan with just enough water to moisten it. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan until the sugar has dissolved. Continue boiling for 5 minutes, without stirring, until the syrup turns a dark caramel colour.

Quickly pour the caramel into the base of a 1l (4 cup) soufflé dish. Holding the dish with a tea towel or oven gloves carefully swirl to coat the base and sides with the hot caramel. Set aside to cool.

Combine the vanilla extract and double cream in a saucepan and bring just to a boil, stirring frequently. Take off the heat, cover and set aside to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and egg yolk with the remaining sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Now whisk in the cream and strain into the caramel-lined dish.

Cover with a double layer of foil then set in a deep roasting tin and pour in just enough boiling water to come half-way up the side of the dish. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 160ºC (325ºF, Gas Mark 3) and bake for about 40 minutes or until the custard is just set.

Remove from the roasting tin then set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator and chilling over night.

When ready to serve, run a knife around the edge of the soufflé dish then cover with a serving plate and, holding the two together invert, allowing the custard to drop down onto the plate.

Carefully lift one side of the soufflé dish to allow the caramel to run down. Now carefully lift off the soufflé dish.

Serve sliced and accompany with cream and fresh fruit (strawberries are particularly good).

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