Thanks to the Portuguese, crème caramels have been part of the Brazilians’ table for many years. Initially the basic Brazilian custard recipe was very similar to the original Portuguese caramel recipe and had milk, sugar and eggs. In the beginning of the 20th century, however, sweetened condensed milk slowly started to be incorporated into our recipes and these days most Brazilians prefer to use this ingredient. In reality, if I were to translate the name of the dish literally, it would be ‘Sweetened Condensed Milk Flan’.
There is not only a plain version of this recipe, the usual Brazilian excitement in the kitchen led to the creation of hundreds of flavours. Recipes may include fruits like pineapple, mango, banana, guava, strawberry; nuts like walnuts and peanuts; white or dark chocolate; and vegetables such as corn or pumpkin, to name a few.
Although the caramel recipe is very easy to follow, the result is not always satisfactory. If you are not careful, the custard can easily overcook ending up in a caramel that instead of being smooth and silk, has a texture of a Swiss cheese! Some people in Brazil don’t mind the overcooked version, but to me, silkiness is totally required! I love the melt-in-the-mouth feeling that this dessert provides. Therefore, if you have the same taste as me, keep an eye on the cooking time (preferably use a timer) to get the recipe right. It’s 45 minutes in a fan-forced oven, then switch it off and leave the custard finish cooking gently for about 3 hours or until the oven has cooled down before you put it in the fridge. By the way, I did not test this recipe with an oven that is not fan-forced.
Like my coconut mousse, the caramel is delicious on it’s own, but when you eat it with fresh raspberries it will be simply superb. The subtle tartness of the raspberries provide the right balance to the super sweetness of the caramel. Also, I have an obsession with colourful dishes, I love a glow on my plate and the seasonal raspberries are perfect for that purpose too.
I was very lucky on the day I picked to do the photo shoot for this dish. It was a cloudy day but not too dark so I could take advantage of the perfect natural outdoor light. The light made the colours of the dish look absolutely natural. I did the photo shoot in my garden and it was quite enjoyable. For the main photo, I opted for choosing the flowers as the background to make the shot look really colourful and romantic, just like summer. I hope these images you will make you want to cook and eat this dessert! Here are more angles of the caramel:
1 cup caster sugar
3 cans sweetened condensed milk
2 ½ cups full-cream milk
Metal tube cake pan
You have to start this recipe one day ahead
1. Pre-heat the oven 180°C, fan-forced. In a small saucepan dissolve the caster sugar over medium heat, stirring for about 8 minutes or until sugar dissolves and changes to a caramel colour. Pour caramel into a tube cake pan. The sugar will harden but will dissolve again in the oven. Reserve.
2. Boil plenty of water in a kettle. For the custard, blend all ingredients in the blender until well combined. Pour this mixture into the tube cake pan and cover with foil.
3. Place the tube cake pan in a deep baking tray and put it in the oven. Pour the boiling water to cover 1/2 of the tube cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, switch off the oven and leave it in the oven for 3 hours or until the oven is cool. Refrigerate overnight. To unmould, carefully run a round knife around the flan and turn onto a large serving plate.
Receita em Português
Pudim de Leite Condensado
1 xícara de açúcar
3 latas de leite condensado
2 ½ xícaras de leite integral
Começar a receita no dia anterior
1. Pré -aqueça o forno* 180°C. Em uma panela pequena dissolva o açúcar em fogo médio, mexendo por cerca de 8 minutos ou até que o açúcar caramelize. Despeje caramelo em uma forma de pudim. O açúcar irá endurecer mas irá dissolver novamente no forno. Reserve.
2. Ferva bastante água. Para o pudim, bata todos os ingredientes no liquidificador. Despeje essa mistura na forma de pudim e cubra com papel alumínio.
3. Coloque a forma em uma assadeira profunda e coloque no forno. Despeje a água fervente até cobrir 1/2 da forma de pudim. Asse por 45 minutos, desligue o forno e deixe o pudim por 3 horas ou até que o forno esteja frio . Leve para gelar por no mínimo 12 horas . Para servir, passe uma faca redonda em torno do pudim e vire em um prato.
*Obs: a receita foi feita em forno elétrico de circulação de ar, outro tipo de forno poderá dar um resultado diferente, então é preciso testar.