Creme Caramel: a recipe for disaster?

This afternoon my 10 year old daughter wants me to help her make creme caramel! All I can say is, Junior Master Chef has a lot to answer for. Creme caramel is the kind of dish I would never attempt if it wasn’t for her requesting my”help” with it. Thanks to the fervor the show has sparked amongst kids, parents like me are now in the position of  supposedly “helping” their children prepare and cook dishes that they would never contemplate making otherwise, because they consider them to be far beyond their capabilities. So it’s questionable as to how much “help” I will be to a child whose culinary ambitions have already surpassed my own.  I just can’t wait until she wants me to “help” her debone a rabbit and turn it into a sauce to be served with snail porridge. (Snail porridge was recently cooked up by a 12 year old on the show.)

Looks like a recipe for creme caramel, but it might be a recipe for disaster with me at the helm.

Now, I do ok at whipping up  about 6 different meals for 3 people every week – preferably meals that can be made within 45 minutes, and even better if only one pot is involved. Occasionally I put a bit of extra effort in, and sometimes I give a new recipe a whirl. I am not a bad cook, but neither am I an amazing culinary whizz in the kitchen, willing to spend hours in lengthy preparation of intricate and complex meals.

But all other considerations aside, creme caramel quite simply comes under a category of dish that I accepted a long time ago that I just simply can’t do.  I have given my daughter fair warning: I can not do custards or white sauces.  Any dish that requires stirring milk until it reaches exactly boiling point and then magically thickening it up with either the addition of corn flour, custard, (or some magical spell that I was never granted access to) at exactly the right moment and to exactly the right consistency for exactly the right amount of time, obviously contains a lethal combination of 2 things I can’t abide: milk and exactness. Bleh!

So I don’t do white sauce, and I don’t do custard.

(In this case the recipe requires that the custard is immediately taken off the millisecond that it starts to boil, and then the baking is done in the oven, as with most baking. So it sounds deceptively easy, but I just know that with me involved there is great scope for failure.)

But I am embarking on making creme caramel with my daughter, and looking forward to it, because she wants to make it, and it will be a lovely way to spend this sunny afternoon in the kitchen doing something with her. Some things are more important than whether the custard sets or ends up as a revolting curdled mess. (that was my last attempt) So if, after we’ve spent the afternoon together making it, it doesn’t work in the end, what’s a few eggs and a cup of milk wasted?  I hate milk anyway.

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