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sardine tin

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seven seeds coffee

Oct 29th

coconut & palm sugar creme caramel

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After being a little slack with my blogging for the last few months, my inspiration has been revived by the characters in the movie ‘Julie & Julia’ with their JUST DO IT attitude!

So here I am – sharing the recipe that got me through to the 3rd round of auditions for a spot on Masterchef 2.  No I didn’t make it all the way but please don’t let that (or this crappy iphone photo that doesn’t do this dish justice) deter you from making this yummy creme caramel. This is the photo I took after plating my dish up at the master chef audition.

coconut creme caramel with palm sugar syrup, pineapple chips & pandanus foam

Props to Beth for sharing the coconut creme caramel recipe with me, and for executing a succesful trial run of this dish with me in her kitchen. The palm sugar, pineapple chips and pandanus mousse / foam are ideas that developed along the way.

Props to Gerard, Louise, Ben, Will & Gabe for lending me their kitchen (my oven exploded a week or so before) and along with Mum, Nic, Candy, Josh & Steve for being my guinea pigs.

You will need to do the pineapple chips a day ahead, and it is best to do the creme caramel and pandanus foam a day ahead too as they need quite a while to chill.

pineapple chips  you will need to start this a day ahead, and you will need a dehydrator


2 medium sized pineapples


Cut the skin off the pineapples and cut the pineapple into whole round slices, no more than 1cm thick. Spread them out onto the dehydrator trays – it should fill about 5 – 6 trays. Set the dehydrator to 60°c and leave them overnight (about 10 hours). They are ready when they easily snap one in half.

pandanus mousse / foam


4 pandanus leaves

150ml apple juice

3 whole eggs

3 yolks

100g caster sugar

4 drops pandanus essence

2 gelatine leaves

300ml whipped cream


Cut 3 of the pandanus leaves into small squares and heat with the apple juice in a small saucepan until the leaves begin to turn brown. Squeeze the juice out of the leaves back into the saucepan and discard the leaves.

Prepare a double boiler.  Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and set aside.  In a heatproof bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar over the double boiler until a sabayon (a soft, meringue like mixture) forms (it is important to keep whisking to ensure no lumps of egg form).  Remove from the double boiler. Squeeze the water from the swollen gelatine and add to the infused apple juice. Gradually add infused apple juice & gelatine mix to the sabayon while whisking and continue whisking until cool.  Fold the whipped cream through (if there are lumps of cream that do not mix, whisk it briefly). Place in an airtight container and leave in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours or overnight.

coconut & palm sugar creme caramel

Beth shared this recipe with me from Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to Eat; The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food’.  Substituting normal sugar for palm sugar was my own little twist.


4 eggs

4 egg yolks

45g caster sugar

600ml coconut milk

150g palm sugar

6 x individual ramekins


Place the 6 ramekins in a baking dish with high sides. Preheat the oven to 160°c and put the baking dish with the ramekins in.

Fill a kettle and put it on to boil (you will need this later).

Place the palm sugar and 5 tablespoons of water in a saucepan to make the caramel.  Stir to dissolve and then turn to high heat. Bring the sugar syrup to the boil and without stirring, allow it to boil until it becomes treacly (about 5 – 7 minutes once boiling) – it should coat the back of a spoon without it dripping off quickly.  Remove the dish of ramekins from the oven and pour enough caramel into each ramekin to coat the bottom and halfway up the sides (do this by swirling the caramel around using gloves or tight gripping tongs to hold the ramekin). Try to work quickly as the caramel will begin to set.  Put the dishes aside to allow the caramel to set.

Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan until warmed through. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar for about 30 seconds. Continue whisking wile pouring in the warmed coconut milk until combined.  Strain the mixture into another bowl before dividing amongst the 6 ramekins. With the ramekins still in the baking dish, pour the hot water from the kettle into it, so the water reaches about half way up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully transfer the dish to the oven. Set the timer for 15 minutes.  Check to see if they are ready, by wobbling one of the ramekins, it should be firm, but still wobble a little in the centre. (You can also press with your fingertips to ensure there is no runny liquid under the surface.) Allow to sit for 10 minutes before removing the ramekins from the baking tray and transferring them to the fridge.  Allow to cool for at least 4 – 5hours, if not overnight.

10 minutes before ready to serve, remove the ramekins from the fridge and let them sit.  Then, run a knife carefully around the sides of the dish.  Place a flat plate on top of the dish and invert. Serve with a few pineapple chips, a spoonful of pandanus foam and garnish with the extra pandanus leaf (or eat just as it is – it will be just as delicious!)

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