Creme Caramel

Serves 6

120g white caster sugar
500ml barista plant-based milk
3 eggs and 2 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 170°c / 150°c fan oven / 325°f / gas mark 3
Place 6 dariole moulds in a deep ovenproof dish.

Place the first sugar in a small saucepan with enough water to moisten the sugar.
Have a cup of water handy and a pastry brush
Measure 2 tablespoons water into a cup.

Place the saucepan on a medium heat and stir with a metal spoon until the sugar has melted then stop stirring.

Dip the pastry brush in the water and brush around the inside of the pan to ensure any grains of sugar are washed into the caramel. If any grains of sugar get into the caramel, it can cause the caramel to crystalise.

Boil until the sugar changes to a deep caramel colour. Do not stir. If the caramel is colouring quicker in one spot, swirl the pan gently to mix.
When the caramel has turned a golden brown but not too dark.

Working quickly add 2 tablespoons water, be careful the caramel will spit. Swirl the pan to mix in the water then pour equal amounts into the moulds.

If you are making more than six crème caramels, I recommend stopping the caramel cooking before pouring into the moulds to prevent it getting too dark. This is done by putting the saucepan into a sink of cold water to take away the heat of the pan. Fill the sink with enough cold water to reach half way up the side of the pan before you make the caramel. If the caramel then sets too firm – wipe the bottom of the pan dry and place back onto the heat. Swirl until just runny enough then pour into the moulds.

Whisk the eggs, second sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl.

Heat the barista plant-based milk until hot but not boiling. Whisk into the eggs and sugar.

Strain the mixture into a jug and fill the dariole moulds to the top.

Place the ovenproof dish onto a shelf in the oven and pour boiling water into the dish around the dariole mould ¾ way up the moulds. This will prevent the custards cooking too quickly and scrambling the eggs.

Cook for 30 minutes. To test if cooked, insert the tip of a knife into the centre. The custard should be set.
Take each mould out of the water and leave to cool. Once cold, cover and store in the fridge over night.

To empty out the creme caramel – I find it best to dip each mould into a bowl of boiling water for a few seconds, place a plate on top and turn over onto the plate.

I made this dessert for a blog post in 2012 when I made a gluten and dairy-free version of the technical challenge from The Great British Bake Off each week.