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Sugar has a reputation of being tough to work with but we make caramel fool proof using this easy recipe. The outcome is runny caramel and a perfectly smooth set coffee cream.
Crème caramel is a great 'day ahead' recipe that needs nothing more than turning out before serving, meaning it's ideal for dinner parties or a romantic meal in.
preheat the oven to 160°C.
put the water and 125g of caster sugar into a saucepan and bring to a boil, but do not stir.
simmer on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until it turns a brown caramel colour (like dark runny honey) and then pour equally between 4 ramekins laid on a deep ovenproof tray.
allow this caramel to cool and set, it should go hard.
put the milk, cream, vanilla and coffee into the same saucepan and bring to a boil and mix until the coffee dissolves.
whisk the 3 egg yolks, 2 whole eggs and sugar together into a large bowl.
pour the boiled coffee cream mix slowly over the eggs and whisk continuously until all the cream is incorporated.
pour this creamy mix into the moulds with the caramel so they fill the ramekins almost to the top.
boil a kettle and pour the hot water into the tray around the ramekins, about half way up.
place in the oven carefully for 40 minutes until the centre is just set and it is firm to touch.
cool to room temperature, cover in Clingfilm and then store in the fridge for 2 hours to set.
run a knife around the inside of each ramekin then turn it upside down and give it a firm shake over a serving plate to release it.
enjoy with a glug of cream on top.