Caramel Custard

CaramelCustard

Looking for the perfect treat to serve this New Years Eve? This Caramel Custard is wonderful if you are serving twelve guest or just two. It’s smooth and creamy – okay, honestly it’s basically pudding; but oh, so grown up! Seriously, you’ll be amazed at how scrumptious the smooth texture and slightly sweet vanilla flavor of this custard is!

Custard

2 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar, divided
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup tapioca flour (can use regular all-purpose flour if you prefer)
Pinch of salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cup butter

Pour milk and half the sugar (1/4 cup) in a sauce pan and warm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

While milk is heating up, place egg yolks in bowl and add the remaining sugar (1/4 cup). Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and beat until well combined.

Once the milk is quite warm to the touch, temper the eggs by doing the following:

While beating the egg mixture, pour in a small amount of the warm milk (approximately 1/3 cup). Beat for a second or two and then add a small amount of milk again. As you continue to beat the egg mixture add more and more milk slowly. This raises the temperature of the eggs gradually so that they cook without becoming scrambled eggs.  Once half the milk mixture has been added to the egg mixture, pour everything from the bowl into the sauce pan, combining all the eggs in with the milk.

Place the sauce pan back on the heat and whisk continuously until the mixture begins to boil. Keep whisking and cook for one minute.

Remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter. Whisk until the butter has fully melted and mixed into the custard.

Pour custard into any dish you like – ramekins, small bowls, or even fancy party glasses! Before refrigerating the custard, place wax paper or plastic wrap directly on top of the custard. This prevents a skin from forming.

Get the Look!

Making the Caramel Custard as shown is super simple!

1) Pick up some totally cute skinny champagne glasses (these are 6 ounces each).

2) Turning the glass upside-down, trace the size of the top onto a sheet of wax paper and cut the circles out. These will be used at the very end to cover the custard so a skin doesn’t form.

3) I just used caramel out of a squeeze bottle and squeezed it directly into the glasses where I wanted it. Place the glasses in the refrigerator so that the caramel will set up and not run while making the custard.

4) Make custard!

5) As the custard cools in the sauce pan, pour a small amount of lime juice in one bowl and poured a small amount of sugar into a second bowl. I used Sugar-In-The-Raw because of it’s big crystals, and it’s slightly caramel-y flavor (since the molasses hasn’t been removed). This kind of sugar is called Turbiando sugar. But any kind of sugar will work. Working each glass in turn, flip the glass upside-down and dipped the rim in the lime juice first and then in the sugar.

6) To keep the glasses looking clean, pour the slightly cooled custard into a Zip-loc bag and, after sealing it shut, snip a hole in the corner. Using this to pour the custard into the glasses means you don’t have to worry about ruining the beautiful sugar along the top edges of your glasses. Refrigerator custard until ready to serve!

 

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Sophisticated Sugar: Mint Patties

MintPatties

Growing up, I made these every year with my mom. The smell of spearmint always takes me back to kneading in the food coloring of these sweet and minty candies. These holiday treats are perfect for making with kids since they are simple and delicious!

Mints

1/3 cup light corn syrup
4 Tbsp soft butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp spearmint extract (peppermint extract or mint extract work just fine, though the flavor will be slightly different)
1 lb. powdered sugar
Food coloring – totally optional

In a large bowl, use egg beaters to mix the corn syrup, butter, salt and extract. Next, add the sugar a little at a time. Once the dough becomes too thick for the beaters, continue mixing in the remainder of the sugar by kneading with your hands. This is a great time to get any little ones running around the house involved! Add a few drops of food coloring if you like, and knead until the color is homogeneous.

Roll into small balls with your hands and place on a  sheet of wax paper. Using a fork dipped in powdered sugar, press down on the mint balls to flatten. Twist the fork 90 degrees and press down softly again to create a checkered pattern. Mints can be enjoyed as is, dipped in chocolate, or dusted with powdered sugar just before serving as shown above. (Note: if dusting with powdered sugar, remember the sugar will dissolve into the mints after several hours, so dust just before serving.)

Sophisticated Sugar: Coconut Centers

CoconutCenters

 

Never did chocolate envelope something so sweet and moist. These Coconut Centers are always a crowd pleaser. Your friends will be amazed to know you made them yourself!

 

Coconut Centers

1/2 pound powdered sugar
7 ounces coconut
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
6 Tbsp butter (3/4 of a stick), melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Dash of salt

Melting chocolate for coating the centers
Wax paper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the chocolate. Once thoroughly mixed, place in the refrigerator until the mixture has set up enough to hold it’s shape, approximately 2-4 hours. Use a melon-baller to scoop filling and form into balls by rolling between your hands. Place on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Place back in the refrigerator or in the freezer until ready to dip.

Melt the chocolate and hand dip the coconut centers. After dipping, place on a clean sheet of wax paper and allow to set-up in the refrigerator. This recipe also works very well with chocolate mold.