I should say I can understand what Martin Bosley writes that when you have eaten a great crème caramel, angels sing. It gives a perfect description to the flavour complements in the crème, that's when you can make it right.
My favourite flavour so far is Orange Caramel Cream. I often replace the orange with either lime or lemon. But I do love the orange flavour the best. One of Martin's recipes written in his columns on The NZ Listener, November 17, 2007 is the mixture of orange and cardamom brulee. Pretty beautiful to my palate. Lovely tangy and the fragrant of spice, what more can you get? I also have tried his Coffee and Anise Bavarois, and again it is a chemistry sensation of coffee and anise becomes a satisfaction in the end of dinner. And, another one is saffron crème caramel.
I tell you about saffron: it is not your ordinary spice you would have found in ordinary shops. Perhaps, it becomes the most expensive spice in the world but to me it is rather to be like as mellow as yellow imagination, perhaps far beyond it. The flavour, the fragrance, the taste, oh so delicate, so beautiful, so...different. When it's sprinkled on the milk, the trace of colour begins colouring the mixture. It's like magic. It is a magical spice.
I just can't describe it more than this, a truly admiration of sensational spice. Just beyond words. A cliché? Well, perhaps if you try this recipe, you might find the perfect words for it. I send this pudding for Sugar High Friday: Pudding. Zorra of KochTopf is the host this month.
Saffron Crème Caramel
Special thanks to Barbara who sends me little packages of saffron. Good luck with the packing, Barb!
Source: Martin Bosley, The Works. The NZ Listener, November 17. 2007.
½ cup sugar,
3 Tbs water
Put the sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer and cook until it is a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat. Pour into the bottom of the ramekins.
1 litre milk,
a pinch saffron threads,
4 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 165C. Put the milk, saffron and sugar in a saucepan, bring to lazy simmer, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Whisk the eggs and yolks in a bowl. Continue whisking while pouring the warm milk mixture. Strain into a jug. (Stand overnight to develop the flavours—I did this—ab).
Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins and put them into a roasting pan. Pour enough warm water into the pan. Bake for 30 minutes (Martin doesn't mention what temperature, but it is wise to check your oven manual—ab), the tops should be barely tremble when shaken. Remove from the oven and chill in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
(Martin serves the pudding topped with broken caramel left in the ramekins. I did the same and added saffron on top as a touch). Serve 4.