So today it is officially a year of swapping! I only have been with the swap for about 8 month, but it has been great. It is always interesting to see what everyone comes up with and the wildly different interpretations the same recipe can get!
To celebrate our 1 birthday, we are working with maple syrup cake. I am afraid I went off on a tangent, but there is a logic to it. Let me explain you how it goes.
In Italy there is no maple syrup, meaning lately it is something that we are starting to see, but it is definitely not part of our culinary tradition. So what is there that is kind of like maple syrup? Well caramel! it has the same amber color, the sweetness and a hint of smokiness. And then the inevitable happened. If I am using caramel, then I have to make creme caramel!
Creme caramel is one of those things you grow up with in Italy, it is usually an afternoon snack, that your mom would prepare using a pre-made mixture. It is a custardy pudding with caramel poured all over. It is delicious and kind of light, well airy more than low calorie. I have to hide it not to eat it all in one go.
So here there are no creme caramel mixes, so I figured I’d learn how to make it and discovered is not that difficult after all! So here is my contribution to the swap. Be sure to check what everyone else did!
1/2 cup sugar for the pudding + 1/2 cup sugar for the caramel
1/4 cup water
Infuse the milk with the vanilla flavor, if you use real vanilla you'll have to warm up the milk with the vanilla pod let it sit for 30 min or so and then strain it through a sieve, if you use extract you can simply add it to the milk.
Prepare the caramel by melting the sugar with the water and cooking it on high heat until it takes an amber color. Pour the caramel in the molds you are using for the pudding and let it solidify. You can use one big pan or 6 portion sized ones.
Beat the eggs with the sugar and the milk until well combined and pour over the caramel. Cover the molds with aluminum foil and place them in the oven at 375F in a oven dish filled with boiling water. The water should come up to about 2/3 of the pudding molds.
Cook them until the pudding has set, about 50 minutes for the single serving sizes or a bit longer for the big mold. Take them out of the oven and let the pudding cool down. When it is room temperature chill it for 4 hours in the fridge, before serving. In a pinch 1 hour in the freezer works as well.
When ready to serve, simply turn on a serving dish. And enjoy!