- For the caramel, put the sugar and 3 tablespoons of the water into a saucepan. Heat gently so that the sugar dissolves but don’t let it boil and don’t stir (although you can swirl the pan). When the sugar has completely melted turn up the heat and boil until the mixture turns to caramel – you can tell when it does by the dark gold colour and smell. As soon as it reaches the caramel stage, carefully add the rest of the water – it will hiss and splutter. Stir until any lumps have dissolved, then leave to cool completely and thicken.
- To make the creams, in a bowl beat the sugar with the eggs and egg yolks. Add the vanilla. Heat the cream and wine gently in 2 separate saucepans until they are at simmering point. Remove from the heat and add them to the eggs, the wine first, then the cream, stirring as you do so. Strain through a sieve into a jug.
- Heat the oven to 150°C/fan oven 130°C/mark 2. Put 6 buttered, metal, 125ml dariole-type moulds into a roasting tin, keeping them separate from each other. Pour the custard into the moulds, then pour boiling water into the tin to come halfway up the moulds. Cook in the oven for 35 minutes. Allow the creams to cool in the roasting tin, then remove. Cover each one and chill for 4-5 hours. If you have to chill them for longer, bring them out of the fridge about an hour before serving or the texture will be too firm.
- To serve, run a knife round each pudding, dip the moulds briefly into boiling water, then turn them on to plates and pour the caramel over them.
To drink: A very sweet, rich white, especially Sauternes or botrytis Semillon from the New World: Château Liot Sauternes 2009, £13.49 for 37.5cl, Waitrose.
From the April 2013 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Diana Henry; photograph by William Lingwood; food preparation & styling by Bridget Sargeson; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon; table styling by Alexander Breeze.
I would take this over crème brûlée or crème caramel any day. It is ambrosial made with Sauternes, but more affordable dessert wines are excellent too. Be careful not to overcook it – a silky texture is what you’re after.
For the Caramel
- 115g granulated sugar
- 115ml water
For the Custard
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 eggs, plus 6 eggs yolks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 475ml double cream
- 250ml sweet white wine
- Unsalted butter, for greasing