Puddings are the best example of gels I can think about. Among my favorite desserts, I was fascinated by that liquid mass jellifying. If you miss the nerdy explanation, please see this post :).
Quoting Christopher Moore: “Science, you don't know, looks like magic.” In this case, it’s the egg and their jellifying proteins to cast the spell.
But let’s move now to the pudding that has been my favorite treat for my entire childhood: crème caramel. My grandmother was used to make it out of some ready-made industrial powder of a very popular brand. I can’t blame her: it was summer, the crazy hot Italian summer...no way to turn the oven on! ;) What I am about to present today is a more conservative version.
I took the doses from Edda’s blog, but I replaced part of the milk with some cream (a bit of decadence can’t hurt!). Ready? Let’s start! :)
Crème caramel (dose for 8-10 persons)
- 850 g of milk
- 150 g of cream
- 200 g of sugar
- 200 g of sugar for the caramel
- 8 eggs
- 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract
Break the eggs in a bowl, add the sugar and beat them with an electrical whisker (or with a fork). Add the milk, the cream, the vanilla extract and keep beating until you obtain a smooth batter. Put aside.
Pour the remaining 200 g of sugar in a pan and let it caramelize under a medium flame. As soon as the caramel turns golden, pour it in a big oven mold. Rotate the mold quickly to help the caramel covering the inner part. I recommend using kitchen gloves during this step as the mold might become very hot.
Let the mold cool down and pour the batter into it. Bake in preheated oven at 170 ˚C (better in a bain marie, I was lazy and I skipped it, this time :P), until the pudding is firm. Let the pudding cool down and turn it upside down on a serving plate. It lasts a couple of days in the fridge.