Thai Milk Tea Crème Caramel

I’ll be honest, I’ve been feeling rather lazy ever since lock down #2 (Stage 4) settled in. 🙂 Not being able to leave my vicinity has left me feeling rather constraint with what I am able to do, yet at the same time allowed me to take a step back to focus on these recipes for you. This particular one is a revamp of a earlier recipe that I had written up, one that is great for summer and winter, perfectly comforting and reminiscent of my time in Japan. Yes, Japan. Because creme caramel (or Purin as they would call it) is interestingly enough really big there. You can even find multiple brands in convenient stores, some from different regions, some with different sizing, and if you watch anime, you would have seen it make many appearances through the years. Their version however, is as you would expect of a Japanese dessert, refined, light and true to the quality of the ingredients with a focus and dedication to their eggs, cream and milk. And if you are after the classic creme caramel recipe, you can find it in my earlier post. Given many of us are probably feeling itching to hop on the next flight out to our ideal holiday destination (I know I am), I decided in my usual form to bring it to me instead.

The Flavour

Smooth and silky yet creamier than my “classic” version, this incorporates the flavour of Thai Milk Tea into the dish along with the usual suspects of condensed milk and evaporated milk. It’s rather easy to make and portion sizing is perfect for lock down should you wish to scale up or down. The flavour of the tea in my recipe is very delicate and subtle. It is there and as you eat it the flavour builds up in your mouth, but it won’t hit you with a punch of strong tea fragrance or leave you feeling sick of the flavour because of it’s heaviness. Instead it is light and almost ephemeral, just the way I like it as my aim with this flavour was to find a way to compliment the classic creme caramel flavour profiles wihout losing the flavour of the eggs and milk. Should you wish for a stronger flavour, simply add more tea bags in the initial stage. What I will advise however is to not go beyond 4 tea bags. As the flavour of the tea builds up, so will the astringent taste that it may leave behind as with many strong black tea products. If you do want to play around with the pudding, please refrain from adding more condensed milk or evaporated milk as it will change the consistency of the pudding. This pudding is all about consistency and protein content plays a role with setting the pudding.

The Mould

I am using a wide mouth mason jar which holds just the perfect amount of custard for my liking. You can use whatever you feel suits you best. Purchase the Mason Jar I personally like using the above jars for many things beyond just making creme caramels 🙂

Using Sound and Sight

When is my pudding ready? How about my caramel? As with many other things, the visuals are key. With you caramel, the darker you take it the more mellow the sweetness will be and your caramel will take on a slightly bitter edge giving it more character and that’s the way I love it. You don’t have to push it as far, but it is a matter of preference. The minute it looks right to you, it is ready. Time to turn off the flame and add the water. As the caramel cooks, you can hear the sound of the water evaporating and bubbles popping, as it gets ready to turn into caramel, it will start to quiet down and the bubbles will start to seem elastic. Just keep your eye on it as the colour of the caramel changes rather quickly from that point on. For the pudding, what you are after is a nice wobble. Set around the edges but soft and barely set in the middle. My video will provide you with the visual cues to look out for.

That Gloss and Smoothness

You would have noticed that the caramel is left to cool at room temperature during the process pudding making process. This is to give the caramel time to set and firm up to ensure that it doesn’t end up melting into the pudding when you pour it over and gives your pudding a nice smooth glossy surface on top. To ensure the sides are nice and clean, you want to be sure not to over whip your mixture by incorporating too much air into it. That will cause you to have a bubbly mixture. We also avoid buttering the moulds as that too will create those pockets of air along the sides which I find to be rather unappealing. Finally, by letting it sit for 10 mins after the pudding mixture is in the moulds, you get a chance to allow the mixture to cool down slightly and to firm up slower in the over, but also, it allows the air bubbles trapped within your mixture the chance to rise to the top.

Products used:

Purchase the Mason Jar And as always, here are some things to note:
  • You can scale up or down the recipe and it will work just fine.
  • Be sure to use good quality eggs and milk, because of how simple this dish is, the produce does shine through
  • Feel free to increase the amount of tea you use in your pudding, just be careful not to do more than 3-4 packets.
  • To extract the most out of the tea bags, I like to occasionally press it against the side of the pot. Please do it gently so to ensure that you do not tear your tea bags.
  • The brand I use is Cha Tra Mue which is probably the most famous brand and what will also give you that signature flavour and colour. Other brands may have different quantities of tea in each bag. Each tea bag for this brand contains 4g of tea.
  • The temperature of your ingredients should be followed as per below as it does affect the final product.
  • If your caramel firms up before you manage to portion it, simply warm it up again over the stove to soften it.
  • We let the caramel rest and firm up whilst we make the pudding mixture to ensure it doesn’t bleed into the pudding when you pour the warm pudding in. That gives you the nice smooth reflective surface on top as well due to the caramel barrier.
  • To ensure a smooth mixture, resting the pudding at room temp for the 10 mins is necessary before baking it.
  • If you wish to steam it instead of using an oven, it will work, you will just need to adjust your timing accordingly. My suggestion is to start with the 25 mins and see how you go and judge by it’s “jiggle”
  • For a cleaner removal from the mould, definitely unmould it whilst it’s cold.
  • This pudding is best served and enjoyed cold, straight from the fridge.

Thai Milk Tea Crème Caramel

4 x  4oz (120ml / 1/2 cup) ramekins

What you’ll need

  • 80g sugar
  • 2 tbsp room temp water
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 2 large eggs (approx 50g-52g each without shell), room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g full fat milk
  • 130g evaporated milk
  • 76g condensed milk
  • 40g hot water
  • 2 Thai milk tea packets (or more)

Making it

The Caramel Heat sugar and room temp water on medium low heat in a pot until dark amber. Swirl the pot occasionally to ensure the sugar heats evenly. Turn off the flame and add the hot water once the caramel has reached your desired colour. Take care to add the water gently and to stay at a safe distance because it will splutter. Immediately distribute the caramel amongst the 4 ramekins and let sit until caramel sets is no longer soft like a liquid. (See note above if you caramel hardens before you portion it) Whilst the caramel cools, prepare the custard mixture. The Custard Mixture Preheat your oven to 150C convection mode. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a big bowl until smooth and set aside. Add 2 Thai milk tea bags to your pot and add the hot water. Set aside to steep for a few minutes. Add the condensed milk, evaporated milk and milk to the pot with the tea bags and heat on medium low until bubbles form around the edges. Do not bring it to a boil. Occasionally press the tea bag against the sides of the pot to extract the tea from the bags. Turn off heat once you start to see small bubbles or steam and remove the tea bags. Slowly pour the milk tea mixture to the eggs whilst whisking to tempter the eggs and bring the temperature of the eggs up. Start slow to ensure you do not scramble the eggs. Sieve pudding mixture into your measuring cup or and cup with a lip to ensure easy pouring. Divide the mixture into your ramekins and let sit for 10mins to allow bubbles to rise to the surface. Use a toothpick to pop any bigger bubbles (optional). Cover the ramekins tightly with some aluminium foil and place them into a larger tray with a tall rim (I use a 8″x8″ baking tin). Add boiling water until it comes to being slightly halfway up the ramekin. Bake at 150C for 35-40 mins until just set around the edges. When ready you should be able to see a really fluid wobble but it shouldn’t be liquid. (refer to the video for a guide) Remove from the tray of water. Cool on a wire rack on your counter for 30 mins before refrigerating overnight. To serve, simple loosen the edges with the tip of a knife, place a plate on top and flip it upside down. Spin the plate to get it to release. Alternatively, run a knife all the way down the sides of the ramekin to loosen it fully.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Cheriyan Marattukalam says:

    Great work.


  2. Émilie C says:

    This recipe us just really good. I never had a purin like this ! It is soft and the milk flavor is so strong ! I thought it would be stiffer but it is really light and wobbles so well. (Exaclty like in the video). I wasn’t surprised of the lack of sugary taste because there is no sugar in the recipe, but it accentuates the milk flavor, it is great. Next time, I will do half and half evaporated and condensed milk (for more sweetness) . The problem was the consistency of the caramel (too runny, not adding sugar next time) and of the purin itself (not smooth in one shape but it stuck on the jar and so had wrinkles).
    Beside that, thank you a lot, I recommand the recipe ! 🙂


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