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Saffron and cardamom creme caramel (a Maroque recipe)

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ready in 1 hour


A creamy luxuriant dessert with subtle flavours reminiscent of Morocco.


600ml (1 pint) milk
115g (4oz) sugar, plus 4 tsps for caramel
Good pinch of saffron threads
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) cardamom seeds
5-10ml (1-2 tsp) rose water
4 eggs lightly beaten
60ml (4 tbsp) boiling water


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Heat the milk, sugar, saffron and cardamom in a pan until the milk is just about to boil.

2. Set aside to cool.  Add the rose water, the gradually pour the mixture into the eggs, beating all the time.  Set aside.

3. To make the caramel, heat 60ml/4tbsp sugar in a small heavy pan until melted and dark brown.

4. Stir in the water, holding the pan at arm's length as the caramel will spit.  Let it bubble before tipping it into individual dishes.  Swirl the dishes to coat the base and sides evenly.  Leave to cool.

5. Strain the cooled custard, pour into the dishes and stand them in a roasting pan.  Pour cold water around the dishes to two-thirds of the way up.

6. Bake in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the custard has set.

7. Cool, then chill for several hours or overnight.

8. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the creme caramel dishes and invert on to plates.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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