Creme caramel with durian is simply gorgeous
How I ended up making durian creme caramel
I had not mentioned that I have succeeded in making a durian creme caramel in my last article . I never thought the day would come when I would try to make a creme caramel. I had seen it been done on TV and it appears that every TV chef has their own way of making it. There are actually many ways to make creme caramel. I watched those TV cooking shows and used to wonder what was so great about some watered down and diluted eggs in sugar. It was when I tried it myself that I became a fan of creme caramel. My mom had been asking me to try to make some so that she could use her ‘flame thrower’ to caramelise the sugar. Unfortunately for her but fortunately for me I did the other version – the caramel underneath. I must say that I did one set of creme caramel for her so that she could use her spanking new flame thrower … Should I have called it a blow torch? So that was how I began to make creme caramel … and knowing me I could not leave things alone and had to add durians into the creme caramel.
A word of warning to durian lovers all round the world, if you buy durians prepacked in plastic you may find it difficult to choose fresh durian flesh. The second time I did these durian experiments, after this recipe, resulted in off flavours as the durians were fermenting quite fast. I had kept the durians in the refrigerator for a few days before experimenting and it was awful. If your durians come in plastic, eat it the same day.
You must use Raja Musang variety which is really delicious. Other varieties may not be as tasty.
The recipes for the durian creme caramel
|Durian Crème Caramel|
Some of you may find the durian creme caramel a little sweet and you could reduce the sugar content in the durian creme caramel recipe. I noticed that I have some difficulty tasting sweetness so my recipe may be a little on the sweet side. Did you know that men and women have different sensitivity to flavours. Women tend to be more sensitive … so don’t ask your mother if the cake is too sweet. While I am on this topic I must tell you that men and women have different range of vision too. Women tend to have broader range of vision. So if you think that chick, sitting diagonally at the side away from you, cannot see you admiring her, you will be mighty wrong but on the safe side her boyfriend sitting next to her would not notice you.
Photos of durian creme caramel making process
Durian creme caramel
Add sugar, eggs, milk, water, vanilla together and whisk. I am using powdered milk and based on the instructions on the milk powder packet for every 200g of water add 32g of milk powder to make milk. This works out to be 16% milk powder solution.
Whisk them together. Don’t make too many bubbles.
I added the cream and whisked. There are too many bubbles and I must solve for this eventually.
I stripped the durian flesh from the durian seeds. Don’t include the thick skin of the seeds. And don’t worry too much if some of the skin gets in as we will strain it out later.
Making the caramel
If you noticed I have equal amounts of sugar to water to make the caramel. Many recipes, especially in the Western countries, will call for a lot less water. These countries are cold so the caramel will cool quickly. In Asia, we tend to use the 5kW burners for cooking with a kuali or wok hence it is very easy to burn the sugar if you are inexperienced at making caramel. This is the reason I am using equal amounts of sugar to water. And please don’t use brown sugar as it makes it difficult to see if the sugar is caramelised as both are brown in color. With white sugar you will see the sugar caramelise and turn yellow. Switch off the burner once it turns yellow.
Quickly pour the caramel into three ramekins or baking dishes. Mine are glass dishes and not the normal porcelain dishes. The caramel will harden within a few minutes as the glass is much cooler. I forgot to mention that before you do anything, grease the dishes with butter to ensure nothing will stick to the glass and make it easier to tip out the durian creme caramel.
Back to the durian creme caramel
Use a strainer and pour in the durian creme into the three dishes. Try to get them to be equal amounts.
Add boiling water into a baking tray and place the creme caramel dishes in the tray. Bake them for 35 minutes at 150C (302F). Then take it out of the oven and allow it to cool. The bake temperature is lower then for bread to allow the egg proteins to cook uniformly. My oven looks really clean doesn’t it? Well that is another story waiting to be told.
This is what the durian creme caramel looks like after baking. Can you see the surface has cracked? That is because too much air was trapped during whisking. I will fix this soon … may be next recipe. The cracks are not critical as you will be inverting the creme caramel and no one will see them.
Once the durian creme caramel has cooled keep it in the refrigerator to cool down further. It tastes better when cold. To dish it out either leave it out for 10 to 20 minutes to allow the sides to come to room temperature or hold it in your hands to warm up the sides and bottom of the dish. Run a blunt knife along the sides of the dish to separate the custard from the sides of the dish. Then invert it on to a plate to serve. It did not look jelly like but this durian creme caramel had a real smooth mouth feel about it. Warning: don’t ever leave this durian creme caramel in your refrigerator while friends and family are around. The best place is to keep this durian creme caramel is in your stomach.
Note: Again, I need to mention that you will never find a durian creme caramel recipe in any of the Malaysian 5 star hotels. So is this better than a 5 star recipe?
This article “How to make a durian creme caramel” was researched and written by Peter Achutha.