Posts Tagged ‘caramel’

Leche Flan

Leche Flan

My two sisters are great cooks and while I love to cook for everyone in the family, once in awhile I like to sit back and enjoy their great food. This weekend the family celebrated Easter lunch at my place and I asked my eldest sister to make her Leche Flan. This dessert is the Filipino version of creme caramel. I’ve always thought a great leche flan/creme caramel is very intimidating to make. I prefer one that has a very smooth texture and a dark, almost bitter, caramel sauce. My sister however thinks it’s the easiest dessert to make and hers comes out perfectly every time. The recipe was passed down from my Grandmother and it takes less than ten minutes to put everything together and around 40 minutes to cook. Very minimal effort for an impressive dessert.

Leche Flan (Filipino Style Creme Caramel)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 375 ml evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar (additional)
  • 5 egg yolks plus 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla beans
  1. Boil the sugar in the sauce pan until dark brown and pour in a 23 cm metal cake pan and allow to harden.
  2. In a sauce pan, combine the evaporated milk, 3/4 cups sugar, vanilla beans and eggs, whisk lightly. Place over a gentle heat and mix gently for a few seconds (you don’t want the eggs to cook). Pour the milk and egg mixture into the cake pan. Cover with foil.
  3. Steam the flan over slow heat for 40 to 45 minutes until the flan is set.
  4. Allow the flan to cool. Refrigerate the flan for a few hours. When ready to serve, run a knife around the sides of the cake pan. Place a large serving plate over the cake pan and flip over. Pour the extra caramel over the flan.

Read Full Post »

Macaron lollipops

Macaron lollipops

I realized that I have been blogging for a year and a half now.  Wow.  That’s lasted longer than most relationships nowadays – I feel like you should know me really well by now, after all, I’ve always considered my life to be an open book blog.

But do you really?  I guess, there comes a point in all relationships where you THINK you know a person and then they throw you a curveball.

Well, this is mine:  I don’t like eating macarons. I find them too sweet.

I know, it’s crazy, especially with the number of times I’ve made them on my blog.   Even at Pierre Herme or Laduree, my husband will order a box (his line is “one of each flavour please!”) and I’ll feel obliged to try them since we’re supposed to be in macaron mecca – but in most cases, I’ll only have half a compulsory bite if ever.  I have come to realize that my fascination with them was really borne out of the frustration of not being able to make them properly the first three or so years after learning about them.

Macaron lollipops

Macaron lollipops

Last week however I was inspired to make some macarons for myself after reading Ellie’s post on her Ret Hot Devil mac pops.  But this time, I decided to go with a more savoury/sweet approach.  You see, I love salt.  You know how some restaurants serve salt in little bowls?  My husband has to stop me from picking at it because I can eat salt on its own.  So I made two lots of macarons, first a chocolate macaron which I sprinkled with some pink salt flakes and made a ganache of chocolate, olive oil and more sea salt.  I managed to have two macarons from this batch.  The first one was me trying to figure out whether the olive oil flavour was strong enough to come through (it was) and the second one was to savour the hint of salt flakes from the shell and the ganache.

The second batch of macarons was a Masterchef winner.  Really… it was.  Our work sponsored a Masterchef Dessert competition as part of the Crave Sydney International Food Festival (of which we were a major sponsor) and I piped up a batch of these Salted Caramel Macarons that won me not only a dinner for two at the Young Chef’s Dinner, but also a signed copy from Joanna Savill of the Good Food Guide!

I’m sharing both recipes here in case you’d like to try them yourself.  Macaron recipe can be found here (for French method, the ganache is good for half a batch of these macarons) or here (for Italian Method).

Macaron lollipops

Macaron lollipops

Salted Caramel Macarons

Makes enough for one batch of macarons

  • 160 grams caster sugar
  • 130 grams cream
  • 150 grams butter, diced (best quality you can afford – I used Lurpak brand)
  • 7 grams sea salt (I used pink Murray river salt)
  1. Heat sugar in a pot, making sure to constantly stir so that it browns evenly.
  2. In another sauce pan, warm the cream until the cream bubbles along the sides of the pot.
  3. Once the sugar turns a deep brown, immediately add the warmed cream. Be careful not to burn yourself as the cream and sugar will create a lot of steam – it’s preferable to use a long wooden spoon to stir.
  4. If you notice that some sugar has hardened, heat the mixture gently until the sugar dissolved. Continue to stir the sugar and cream mixture off the heat to allow it to cool, you can even place it in another container to speed up the process.
  5. Once the mixture has cooled to around 50c, add the diced butter with a whisk, a little at a time until fully incorporated.
  6. If you haven’t already, transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with cling wrap and allow to cool in the refrigerator for around 2 to 3 hours.
  7. Once the mixture has cooled, add the salt and emulsify the mixture using either a food processor, stand mixer, hand held mixer or thermomix until the mixture changes colour to a dark beige shade. This is now ready for piping.
Chocolate, Olive Oil and Sea salt Macaron Pops

Chocolate, Olive Oil and Sea salt Macaron Pops

Chocolate, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Ganache

Makes enough for one batch of macarons

  • 150 grams dark chocolate, 50% cocoa (I used Lindt)
  • 120 grams cream
  • 30 grams olive oil
  • 7 grams sea salt
  1. Chop the chocolate into little pieces and place them in a bowl. Heat the cream until it is almost boiling in a saucepan (the cream at the sides of the pan will start to bubble) and pour this onto the chocolate.
  2. Allow the chocolate and cream mixture to rest for a minute and then start to stir the chocolate, starting from the middle of the bowl – outwards, until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  3. Add the olive oil and sea salt and allow to cool. Cover with a cling wrap and allow to harden in the refrigerator before use.

On a side note,  have I told you how much I love Melbourne?  I’m in Melbourne this week for a number of courses at Savour School.  I’m absolutely amazed at the dedication and passion of my classmates.  Many of them are working in professional kitchens or are running (or about to start) their own businesses.  It’s both humbling and inspiring to see them in action and I’ll surely share with you my experiences in the coming posts.

Read Full Post »


Etch Caramel Date Tart

Etch Restaurant's Caramel Date Tart


The first time I ate at Etch restaurant –  we had some good friends visiting from Perth and we wanted to go somewhere memorable for our last lunch.  Etch did not disappoint.  It’s been years since that first lunch but when a restaurant leaves an impression on you, you remember what you ate  -I had the sweet corn soup with blue swimmer crab and wagyu beef served two ways (a slow cooked braised beef and a grilled sirloin steak served with cafe de Paris butter) and their Caramel Date Tart.  Since then we’ve been back many times and I’ve seen the menu change a number of times as Chef Justin North has a philosophy of using hand selected ingredients from local growers and producers.

However, one thing that stays constant on their menu is their Caramel Date Tart.


Read Full Post »

The Blog Monster Strikes Again - Mango Jubilee

Just a quick note to let you know I’ve been banned from my own kitchen as the Blog Monster has officially taken over kitchen duties.  “Trissa, you watch and take pictures while I cook” she told me.  As many of you would probably agree, being prohibited from cooking in your own kitchen is cause for distress and a major protest!  However, when the Blog Monster said she was making Mango Jubilee… I gladly caved in.

The Blog Monster's Mango Jubilee

This deliciously simply dessert consists of a scoop of ice cream topped with a mango-caramel like sauce, and finally flamed with some brandy.  Imagine spoonfuls of creamy and cold ice cream topped with a warm mango sauce – if Blog Monster made desserts like this every day – I would gladly give up my kitchen for it!

Also, an apology before the recipe.  There’s been a big heatwave that hit Sydney this week.  With temperatures hitting as high as 35c (around 95F), it’s been impossible to photograph the mango jubilee “properly”.  There were five servings of this mango jubilee that were made before we could take a half decent picture.  Luckily, there was no shortage of takers for the servings that were “un-fit” for the photo!

Mango Jubilee


  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • splash of brandy
  • 2 scoops of best quality vanilla ice cream
  1. Slice the mango in the middle of the flat seed so you have two halves.  Scoop out the flesh using a melon baller.
  2. When you can’t make any more balls, scoop out the rest of the flesh with a spoon and it up using a fork or a hand blender.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the pureed mango and cook for another 2 minutes over a low heat.  Add the mango balls and cook another 2 minutes.  Set aside.
  4. Place a scoop of ice cream in a heat proof container and add the mango puree and balls.
  5. Place your brandy in a metal soup laddle and heat over a gas stove top.  When the flame has ignited, carefully pour the flame over the mango mixture.

Ripe mangoes, vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and brandy - definitely cause to celebrate!

Stumble It!

Read Full Post »