Welcome to my shiny new kitchen!
I decided that the first thing I made in my lovely new apartment must be REVOLUTIONARY, given that the first thing I made in my last flat was a dessert which has since become my favourite. So, I dug out my brand new fancy pastry book (thaaank you, Kathy) and picked the easiest (HA!) recipe.
– 600ml cream
– 1 vanilla pod
– 6 egg yolks
– 1/2 cup of sugar
– more sugar and icing sugar for crunchy top
After my experience with the curdled caramel custard I was a little wary about boiling cream. So, I put it on the lowest possible heat to boil. Split the vanilla bean (I think I did it right – chopped it up the middle with a pair of scissors) and chucked that in too.
I was a little concerned I wouldn’t have enough time to get the rest of it done before the cream boiled. Turns out I needn’t have worried.
Separated the eggs from the yolks without an egg separator for the first time. Got overly cocky and screwed up the third one.
And the fourth. And the fifth. Decided not to photograph it.
Meanwhile, the cream was doing squat.
Put the sugar in with the egg yolks and whisked for about ten minutes (with breaks for snacks). “Light and fluffy” did not happen. “Pale and sort of sloopy” happened.
By that point, I realised I should probably be preheating the oven. Set it to 150*C.
So what do you think’s happening with the cream by now?
Another ten minutes later and I sent out a distress call. Was instructed to turn the heat up. I did.
Some more nothing happened.
Turned it up just a little more, and redialled. I was informed that the little foamy bubbles around the edge means that it’s bordering on boiled, and I should probably take it off now.
Poured the cream into the egg mixture while frantically whisking and desperately trying to stop the bowl from falling off the edge of the bench. This is where having a couple of cushions growing on your chest kinda comes in handy…
Poured the mixture into my brand new ramekins.
Filled the tray with water to about halfway up the ramekins, and popped it into the oven.
They were supposed to take 40-45 minutes, but when the hell has anything I’ve cooked ever been done on time? After 45 minutes, they were still very wobbly when jiggled gently. After nearly an hour, they seemed to be about right, although I still think I could have stood to leave them in a little longer.
Left them on the bench to cool right down, then put them in the fridge until my New Flatmate got home from work.
Sprinkled 1/2 tablespoon of sugar on top, with a thin layer of icing sugar (which apparently makes in shine) over that, then grilled them in the oven, due to my not owning a kitchen blowtorch.
I tried caster sugar the first time, with the grill on high and the dishes low in the oven, and the sugar burnt. The second time around, I used normal sugar, placed them high in the oven, and turned it to about three quarters. They burnt. Thus, the experimenting goes on.
Have to say, though, burnt or not – they made a hell of a crack!
Say hello to my new favourite dessert :3