This is a sublime dessert, ideal to cool the palate after a few sizzling dishes.
The salted honey peanuts are a welcome crunch alongside the silky custard.
- 1 cup white sugar, plus ½ cup for the custard
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 2½ cups milk
- 1½ cups cream
- 1 cup blanched peanuts
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Chocolate shavings, curls or crumbled flake
1 Place the sugar in the middle of a medium saucepan and slowly pour the water around it – this prevents the sugar sticking to the sides and burning. Heat the syrup over a medium heat without stirring for 5-8 minutes, swirl the pan when the mixture starts to change colour. When the syrup has caramelised into a deep golden colour, pour into the base of 6 small serving dishes. Allow to set and harden for about 15 minutes.
2 Preheat the oven to 160°C. Combine the eggs and yolks, then stir in the vanilla, sugar, milk and cream. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug.
3 Arrange the caramel dishes in a roasting pan and divide the egg custard mixture between them. Fill the roasting dish with boiling water until it reaches at least halfway up the sides of the dishes. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and check the custard is set – it may be a bit wobbly but should be set. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, then remove dishes from the pan. Cool before chilling.
4 Toss the peanuts in the honey and sea salt over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until golden and toasted. Pour onto a sheet of baking paper to set and harden. Roughly chop when cold.
5 Serve the caramel custards chilled with a sprinkle of chopped salted honey nuts
and a few curls of chocolate.
About Jo Wilcox
"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See www.jowilcox.co.nzmore of this author