Friday, April 9, 2010

Orange Caramel Creams

A recipe from Portugal, this citrus delight is topped with plenty of golden caramel sauce. A treat for dessert lovers!!

Ingredients: serves 4

For the caramel

Water: 1/3rd cup
Sugar: ½ cup

For the orange cream

Large navel oranges: 4
Eggs: 5
Sugar: 1/3rd cup
Orange zest:  1½ tbsp
Red food color:  (optional)

This Orange caramel custard can be prepared, baked up to 2 days ahead and kept refrigerated. Unmold them just before serving, (since it is a delicate dessert ) also the caramel discolors if left to stand for long.


Add the water and sugar in a sauce pan and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally. Boil the mixture without stirring until it starts to turn golden. Note: do not stir while the mixture is boiling as it could crystallize instead of caramelize. Lower the heat and continue to cook swirling the pan to even out the color, restrain to stir. Once the caramel syrup is deep golden in color remove the pan from the heat and immediately plunge the base of pan into a bowl of cold water to make it stop cooking….as caramel burns easily and tastes bitter when overcooked. Leave it for a min , if you leave it for too long it will turn hard. Pour the caramel into ramekins dividing them equally among them. Make sure you tilt each ramekin so the bottom is evenly coated with a thin even layer and let it cool.

Orange Cream

We had a bag of Cara Cara oranges in the refrigerator  ...the color and taste are just perfect on a warm spring day. Since we had these lovely oranges, we decided to use it for this recipe. Cara Cara oranges, a type of navel grown in California's San Joaquin Valley, are available January through April. Their outward appearance is similar to other navels, but their interior is a distinctive pinkish red and has an exceptionally sweet flavor with a tangy cranberry-like zing.

Heat the oven to 350 F. Squeeze the orange juice from the oranges or use 2 cups of ready orange juice. In a bowl whisk eggs and sugar till the sugar dissolves. Now gently whisk in the orange juice followed by orange zest. Add a drop of red food coloring into each caramelized ramekins (optional). Now carefully pour in the orange/egg mixture into the caramelized ramekins. Lay a hand towel on the bottom of a baking pan and place the ramekins on the towel. Pour hot water in this pan to come more than half up….making a water bath. Water should be boiling hot. Bake the creams for about 20-25 min, till they are set. Poke with the tip of a knife at the center of the ramekin to make sure the center comes out clean indicating that it is cooked well. If you over cook the ramekins it will curdle. Before serving unmold the ramekins by running a knife thru the edges and invert it on the plate…you will have a sauce pool of the caramelized sugar. Garnish with orange zest and  berry sause, you are ready to enjoy this dessert. We baked our orange creams in a medium size ramekin and a small one and placed it one above the other to give a dramatic look. Well you can get as creative as you want ….but handle them with care as they easily come apart.

About water baths: Water is perfect to use to surround a delicate recipe during cooking or baking. The water surrounds and protects delicate foods from direct heat, allowing it to be prepared "low and slow”. If we did not use the water bath the creams/custard will curdle, break, crack or scorch under too much heat and it will form the ugly chewy crust in egg preparations. So water baths is an essential aspect while cooking custard/creams/soufflĂ© and even cheese cake.

 Adapted from “fruit desserts” by Anne Willan

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  1. Yes, a splendid treat indeed. I am going weak in the knee for it!

  2. Wow! this looks AWESOME

  3. that looks splendid. so creamy and juicy...craving some right now.

  4. This looks awesome....such a nice sunny color!

  5. Wow that looks divine, wonderful blend of flavors!

  6. What a great recipe - simple, few ingredients, delicious and does not have butter (calorie savings :-) )! Thanks for sharing. I will certainly try this one! Maybe even tomorrow...

  7. Wonderful flavours and my goodness, it looks absolutely stunning!!!

  8. stunning pix....u guys are good!!


  9. Yummm!! I wish I was not dieting!!! Try to have a dieter's menu as well.... pleeeese.

  10. Thanks All!!:)

    Ditu: will try to chur out some low cal delicacies.


  12. I keep looking at it and want to chuck my diet


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