Who doesn’t love the seductive jiggle of a Crème caramel? This quintessential French classic is a textural masterpiece and featured heavily on restaurant menus in the 70’s and 80’s but has been lost ever since. I feel it is desperate need of modernisation. The addition of saffron rose and cardamom gives a new lease of life to a forgotten classic. It should be soft, glossy with the custard quivering and dark sweet caramel dripping onto the plate.
Serves 4 - 6
550ml full cream milk
3 egg yolks
5 bruised cardamom pods
1 healthy pinch of saffron
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons of rosewater
110grams granulated sugar
Handful of toasted pistachios
Dried rose petals to garnish
6 inch diameter soufflé dish or cake tin or 4-6 ramekins/ dariole mould
Add the cardamom and saffron to the milk and allow to infuse into the milk on a low heat for 15-20 minutes. Break the eggs into a bowl and add the extra yolks and honey, stir gently until combined. Pour over the warm milk mixture, add the rosewater and whisk gently making sure that the mixture does not froth. Strain and pour into a jug ready for use.
Put sugar and water into a small pan dissolving sugar over a low heat then boil rapidly without stirring until it is rich brown in colour. Immediately pour into the dish and turn to coat the caramel evenly over the bottom and sides. Allow to cool and set.
Pour the custard over the caramel and place in a bain-marie covering with water half way up the side. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 140 degrees for 60-90 minutes, or until the custard has just set (it can take longer depending on the size and thickness of your dish). Carefully lift out of the water bath and allow to cool and chill in the fridge.
When ready to serve pass a sharp knife around the edge of the custard and invert onto a serving plate. Serve chilled with toasted pistachios, dried rose petals and a splash of rosewater.