Amaretto Crème Caramel
Ahhh, the crème caramel - such a beautiful classic French dessert. It’s similar to a crème brûlée but lighter, beautifully silky and delicate, and a lovely way to finish a meal without feeling weighed down and overfull (you know how dessert can kind of tip you over the edge so to speak? well this wont do that). Traditionally, crème caramel is made with milk, not cream, however I like the richness that the cream gives, so I use both.
It’s up to you how far you take the caramel. The darker the colour the more bitterness it will impart, which can offer a lovely contrast with the sweet custard, however too much bitterness is not good. I like to take it to a dark golden amber. Be careful as the caramel will go from pale amber to dark to burnt in a matter of seconds, and will continue cooking in the pan after you have removed it from the heat, so you need to pour it into your ramekins immediately.
The prospect of making caramel can be a tad scary for some, but believe me it’s actually really easy…..you just need a watchful eye and a little patience. As for the custard part, that’s super easy. Also, if you don’t have (or don’t like) Amaretto, you can substitute with another liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau. Whisky is also delicious, or you can just use vanilla if you prefer a non-alcoholic version.
Amaretto Crème Caramel
140g caster sugar
200ml pouring cream
140ml full cream milk
2tbs Amaretto liqueur
110g caster sugar
4 egg yolks
You will need 6 x 125ml (1/2 cup) capacity ramekins. Place them into a baking tray and have them ready to pour your caramel into.
To make the caramel, place the sugar and water into a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil (do not stir the caramel at this point). Using a pastry brush, brush the sides of the pan with a little water to remove any sugar crystals (these can cause your caramel to crystallise). Continue cooking to take the caramel to the level you want, being careful not to let it get too dark. Once you have reached your desired colour (dark golden amber for me), evenly distribute the caramel between the ramekins and set aside until required.
Preheat oven to 150C.
To make the custard, heat the cream, milk and Amaretto in a saucepan over medium heat and heat until warm. In a mixing bowl, place the remaining ingredients and whisk until combined. Slowly pour over the warm cream mixture whilst whisking well to combine. Sieve the custard into a jug and pour over the caramel in the ramekins.
Boil the kettle and pour enough hot water into the tray of ramekins so that it comes three-quarters of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Hot tip - put the tray into the oven and then pour the water in - less chance of spillage or slopping water into the ramekins that way.
Bake the crème caramels for around 22 mins or until just set (there should still be a slight wobble). Remove from the tray (otherwise they will continue to cook) and refrigerate until cold. To serve, remove from the fridge around 30 mins prior to serving so that they can come to room temperature. Dip the base of the ramekins into hot water for 15-20 seconds, run a sharp knife around the inside of the ramekin to loosen it and then invert onto your serving plate. Serve immediately.