Thursday, 27 February 2014

Trying to make Crema Catalana

The other day I tried to make crema catalana with my friend Judith. I had found a powdered version in  an Italian supermarket (I know how random this is) and we decided to make a 'proper' one as a comparison.
Before you get too excited, neither was super amazing. The home-made version was still a hundred times better than the shop bought version.
We also made a video :)

We used a Rachel Allen recipe I found on this page. Since we had over 90 minutes of video you won't find any actual recipe information in the final video but I'll give you the original recipe and my thoughts on it here.
You are supposed to use:

350 ml Milk
125 ml Cream
Zest of 1 Orange and 1 Lemon, cut into long strips (untreated citrus is always nice...)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
4 Egg Yolks
50 g Sugar
3 tbsp Sherry
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Demerara Sugar for caramel

What you do is put the citrus zest strips, milk cream, and cinnamon sticks into a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat the mixture until it starts to simmer. Then you take it off the heat, cover it and let it infuse with all the flavours while it cools down for half an hour. Here is where I suggest you do something different. Our crema catalana was super orangey and super cinnamony. Judith and I love both of those flavours but they were so intense the whole thing was a) too much and b) kinda bitter. What I would do is heat everything up and then take the zest and cinnamon sticks out after 15 minutes. That said, if you like bitter flan, then just go ahead...
Once you have a lukewarm milk mixture, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, sherry, and vanilla extract.
Preheat your oven to 150˚C and boil some water.
Whisk the milk into the egg mixture. The easiest way of doing this is by adding a small amount of the milk mixture to the eggs, whisking until there are no weird lumps or anything and then adding the remaining milk. Pretty much like when you're adding egg whites to the rest of the batter.
Next, place ramekins that will hold the flan (i.e. do the math before you start) in a deep baking tray or fat pan or similar. Pour the flan mixture into the ramekins and then place the baking tray in the oven. Now you pour the hot water you have just boiled into the tray. Judith will tell you more about all of that in the video.
'Bake' for 35 to 40 minutes, until the flan is set on the outside but the middle is still wobbly. Judith says it's supposed to wobble for about 15 seconds. She knows her flan so we're going to trust her on that one.
Once the flan has the desired wobbliness, take the ramekins out of the oven. A slotted spoon works really well for this. Put the ramekins into your fridge and do something different for an hour or two until the flan is cold. You can use this time to clean your kitchen. Or, you could make home made cannelloni from scratch like Judith did. I went and had coffee at the farmers' market :)
When you are ready to face the flan again, find a blowtorch. For some reason most of my friends have one in their kitchen. You can also use the grill of your oven, but apparently that's not what the cool kids do these days. We had four ramekins and put a very generous tablespoon of demerara sugar in each. Then you caramelise the sugar. Whichever way you are going to caramelise the sugar, watch it like a hawk. It's one of those things where nothing happens for like forever and then it burns in the blink of an eye.

If you decide to make this, let me know how it goes. Also, if there is something you would like me to make or talk about, let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...