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Caramel Custard Cups

ingredients

serves 4
1/2 cup (100 g) 4 oz lump or granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup (1/2 pint) 300 ml milk
scant 1/2 (us) cup (100 ml) single cream
2 whole eggs and 2 yolks
2 tbsp (25 g) 1 oz caster sugar (superfine granulated)
few drops of vanilla essence

method

1. Prepare 4 X 150 ml(1/4 pint) ovenproof moulds to receive a caramel coating.

2. Make the caramel by heating the lump sugar with 150 ml (1/4 pint) water in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to the boil.

3. Continue to boil, without stirring, until the mixture is golden brown.

4. Pour a little of the caramel on to a metal plate and set aside.

5. Immediately pour the remaining caramel into the warmed moulds, twisting and turning each mould in turn until the sides and the base are evenly coated. Leave until cold and set.

6. Set the oven at 140 - 150°C/275 - 300°F/gas 1 - 2.

7. In a saucepan, bring the milk and cream to just below boiling point.

8. Put the eggs and sugar into a bowl, mix well, then stir in the scalded milk.

9. Add a few drops of vanilla essence. Strain the custard mixture into the prepared moulds.

10. Stand the moulds in a roasting tin and add hot water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds.

11. Bake for 30 minutes or until the custard is set.

12. Remove the cooked custards and leave to stand for a few minutes, then invert each on an individual dessert plate.

13. The caramel will run off and serve as a sauce.

14. Break up the reserved caramel by tapping sharply with a metal spoon, and decorate the top of each custard with the pieces of broken caramel.

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