Mark Best: Sauternes custard with bitter caramel

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 200 ml Sauternes (see note)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 eggs
  • 115 gm caster sugar
  • 350 ml pouring cream
  •  
  • Bitter caramel
  • 100 gm caster sugar
01   Preheat oven to 110C. Heat Sauternes in a small saucepan over low heat until it reaches 60C (4-5 minutes).
02   Meanwhile, beat yolks, eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until pale (3-4 minutes). Slowly add Sauternes and cream and stand for 5 minutes. Skim any bubbles from surface, then divide mixture among eight 100ml-capacity ramekins. Place ramekins in a heavy baking pan, fill pan with hot water from the tap until halfway up the outside of moulds. Cover lightly with foil and bake until just set (25-30 minutes). Remove from baking dish, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled and set (1-2 hours).
03   Meanwhile, for bitter caramel, place sugar in a small saucepan. Moisten with 20ml water and cook over medium-high heat, brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush until sugar caramelises (3-4 minutes). Swirl pan to ensure an even colour, then cook until wisps of smoke appear (2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, add 80ml water (be careful; caramel will spit), then cook over low heat until evenly melted (1-2 minutes). Cool and reserve until required. Makes about 200ml.
04   Pour 2 tsp caramel over each custard, serve immediately with extra caramel to the side.
Note Sauternes is a French dessert wine. If unavailable, substitute another sweet wine such as botrytis semillon.

This recipe is from the September 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

MARK BEST

Photography:

JASON LOUCAS

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY

Drinking Suggestion:

AMARO NONINO, AN ITALIAN LIQUEUR INFUSED WITH ALPINE HERBS AND TANGERINES, SERVED CHILLED. ITS FLAVOUR CUTS THROUGH THE CREAMINESS OF THE CUSTARDS. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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