Ginger Crème Caramel

Ginger Crème Caramel – Candy Coated Culinista

Ginger fans need to try this Crème Caramel or as I call it flan from my Filipino friends.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: you will need to start 2 days ahead of time
Cook Time: 90 minutes
Difficulty level is: Easy; but time consuming

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
• 3 ¼ cups whole milk
• ½ cup heavy cream
• 2 ¾ inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled send coarsely grated
• ½ vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 6 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
1. If you are infusing the custard with ginger, you will need to start this recipe two days in advance.
2. Place milk, cream, ginger and vanilla pod and seeds in a medium bowl or measuring cup and whisk to combine.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least 6 hours, or ideal 24 hours, to infuse.
4. When you are ready to make the crème caramel preheat oven to 325°F.
5. Place baking dish in the oven to keep warm until needed as heating the dish will make it easier to coat it with the hot caramel.
6. Add 1 cup of the sugar to a large pan or skillet and place over medium heat.
7. Cook for about 5 minutes, resisting the urge to stir; but tilting and swirling the pan instead, until the sugar has melted and begins to brown around the edges.
8. Continue this process until the sugar has turned into a dark amber caramel.
9. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven and immediately pour the caramel using a kitchen towel to protect your hands from the hot dish.
10. Tilt the dish around so the caramel coats the entire base and rise halfway up the sides of the dish.
11. Place the dish in a deep baking pan and set aside for 15 minutes. The caramel doesn’t need to become rock hard; but it should be firm enough that pouring the custard over top doesn’t disturb it.
12. Boil some water and set aside.
13. Place eggs in a large bowl with the remaining 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract.
14. Whisk until smooth and then strain the infused milk-cream mixture into the eggs through a fine mesh strainer. Discard ginger pieces and whisk the mixture until well combined; but not frothy.
15. Pour mixture into the caramel-coated dish and place the baking pan (with the crème caramel dish inside) in the oven.
16. Pour some recently boiled water into the baking pan so the water reaches halfway up the pan.
17. Bake for 90 minutes and the top of the caramel should be a golden brown, while the middle is still wobbly. However, a skewer inserted should come out clean.
18. The wobble will firm up in the firm; but cooking time can vary depending on dish size and the material it is made out of. So it could take up to 2 hours depending.
19. Remove baking pan from oven and carefully transfer the crème caramel to a wire rack.
20. Set aside and allow to completely cool and then cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge overnight (or up to 3 days) to allow the caramel to pool and the custard to firm up.
21. If the custard part of the crème caramel is stuck to the sides of the dish, carefully run a small knife along the edges to release it.
22. Then place a large plate (larger than the baking dish to catch the caramel) and turn out, ensuring your holding the plate and baking dish firmly and flip quickly.
23. Slowly remove the baking dish to reveal.
24. Slice and serve.

Tips
• Use a 10” ceramic or glass baking dish with a fluted edge. A metal pan will work just as well as long as the base isn’t removable.
• You can skip the ginger infused custard if you are short on time. The custard will still require to be baked a day in advance though as the caramel needs to chill in the fridge overnight.
• Will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This turned out exactly like the recipe. The crème caramel was custardy and was perfectly infused with ginger. I have never made a crème caramel and have always stayed away when it was offered at a Filipino event. I had a little difficulty getting it to come out cleanly; but otherwise this was a simple dish. This really isn’t a consistency I enjoy to be honest and then there is the caramel aspect; but if you love crème caramel/flan I believe this one would be a great one to try. The ginger really adds another level to it.

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Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

I can never pass up anything with beets in it. Since its summer and it is the time for lighter, fresh and fast dishes this was a great lovely light meal.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 red beetroots
• 2 golden beetroots
• 2 chioggia (candy cane) beetroots
• 250g of couscous
• 1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Zest and juice from one lemon
• Handful of pine nuts
• 540g chickpeas, rinsed & drained
• Handful of parsley, chopped
• Handful of mint, chopped
• Pinch of paprika
• 1/2 crumbled feta
• Salt, to taste
• Pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Wrap beets in foil and roast for 30 minutes until tender.
3. Prepare couscous. (follow the instructions on the box); but use vegetable stock instead of water.
4. Fluff couscous with a fork and add in olive oil, lemon zest and juice.
5. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl.
6. Using a small frying pan over medium-high heat toast pine nuts. Ensure you don’t take your eyes off the skillet as the pine nuts will brown fast.
7. Peel beets and cut into large small wedges.
8. Stir in the couscous with the chickpeas, chopped herbs and spice.
9. Crumble feta over top and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts.
10. Serve warm.

Tips
• Add chicken breast for protein with harissa.
• Top with halloumi instead of feta.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a very filling an flavourful dish without the meat. I enjoyed my dish without the meat ad this will be a great addition to my menu. My guests thoroughly enjoyed this dish. There are many components to this dish and yet not one ingredient overpowers the next and each beets has a distinct taste, which is wonderful.

Chickpea, Feta & Beetroot Couscous Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad

Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad – Candy Coated Culinista

It seems like once a year I get a craving or blue cheese. I love blue cheese; but I rarest ever pick it up. Well craving a wedge salad I thought it would be a nice change to make a blue cheese dressing instead of the usual Caesar dressing.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Wedge Salad

• 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and cut in half
• 12 grape tomatoes, halved
• 1/3 English cucumber, sliced
• 6 chives, finely diced
• 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
• Blue cheese, crumbled
Blue Cheese Dressing
• 3/4cup blue cheese
• 3 anchovies, finely diced
• ¼ cup sour cream
• ¼ cup buttermilk
• 2 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
Wedge Salad

1. Wash lettuce and cut in half and drain cut side down on a paper towel.
2. Cut grape tomatoes, English cucumber, chives and set aside.
3. In a frying pan fry bacon and then crumbled and set aside with the crumbled blue cheese.
Blue Cheese Dressing
1. Using a bowl, break up the blue cheese and add in the anchovy and sour cream, until well incorporated.
2. Add in the sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
3. Place lettuce cut side up in a plate and add tomatoes, cucumber, chives, bacon and blue cheese.
4. Drizzle dressing over and serve.

Tips
• Salad dressing can be kept for up until 1 week.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a rich, hearty and filling salad. This could work as an entrée depending on how big you lettuce head is. I enjoyed the combination of the creamy blue cheese into the dressing and the crunchy of the crispy bacon. I will be making this again as it is a wonderful starter for any guests.

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

If there is one item that is on this blog in many different manifestations; besides a banana bread is definitely pavlova. I totally fess up to being obsessed with this dessert and I just can’t stop. I am always so eager and will always try a new pav recipe to see if I can find a new and better meringue.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 2 hours, or until meringues are dry
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Meringues

• Egg whites from 3 eggs
• 1/8 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
• 400g gooseberries husked and halved
Toffee Cape Gooseberries
• 8 gooseberries, papery husk intact
• ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
Yoghurt Cream
• 2/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
• ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
• Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
• 1 ½ tbsp honey
• 2 ½ tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
Decoration
• confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Assembly
Meringues

1. Preheat oven to 275°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Make eight circles about 8 cm wide, so there are sixteen circles in total.
3. Flip paper over so drawn on side is face down; but still visible.
4. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment place egg whites and salt and whisk at medium-high speed until frothy.
5. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peak form.
6. Now add sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy.
7. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe meringue or spoon onto circles and using a spatula form the circle, ensuring they are not taller than 1 cm thick.
8. Bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are dry.
9. Turn off the oven and let the meringues remain inside until they are completely cool.
10. Once cooled remove from the oven and set aside.
Toffee
1. Peel back the husk from the gooseberries; but leave them attached and set aside.
2. Place sugar into a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the sugar melts and begins to brown around the edges.
3. Tilt and swirl until all the sugar melts evenly, and the sugar turn an amber colour.
4. Remove from the heat tilt pan and dip gooseberries into the toffee. Be extremely careful not to burn yourself. Let excess toffee drip away and place on a baking sheet or plate and set aside.
Yoghurt Cream
1. Using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the yoghurt, heavy cream, vanilla, honey and confectioners’ sugar.
2. Keep in the fridge until needed.

Assembly
1. Place a small dollop of yoghurt cream onto each serving plate.
2. Place meringue flat side down and add more yoghurt cream to the top of the meringue followed by the halved gooseberries and then top with another meringue flat side down. (making a sandwich)
3. Dust the tops of the meringue with confectioners’’ sugar and place one toffee dipped gooseberry atop the mini pavlova. Ensure you assemble as close to serving time as possible as the meringues will soften.

Tips
• Use a piping bag if desired to make meringue circles. (A piping bag isn’t required)
• Meringues can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper.
• Toffee and yoghurt cream can only be made no more than 2 hours in advance.
• To cut some sugar don’t dust the tops of the meringues with confectioners’ sugar or add confectioners’ sugar to the yogurt cream.
• Gooseberries in North America will be found as physalis, ground cherries or golden berries. It’s all the same family of husked small marbles sized orange fruits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The pavlova was marshmallowy in the centre and crispy on top. I wasn’t fond of the colour; which was a little tan due to the cook time. The cook time was way off for me as I didn’t require anything near the 2 hours, so I pulled mine out at the 1 hourish mark. Usually I get a tan meringue when I add vanilla extract; but this was not the case here and it still had a tint. Now while this isn’t my favourite meringue recipe by any means, the circular meringues and toffee really peaked my interest and made this a restaurant worthy dessert. Not to mention a favourite fruit of mine, the gooseberry or in my neck of the woods the physalis, ground cherries or goldenberry was in play. I also enjoyed the addition of greek yoghut to the whipped cream as it added a nice tang that cut the sweet. This book has three different pavlova recipes so as they say on to the next.

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

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