I have always enjoyed cooking, I guess I get it from my mother,(Patricia Ballard) who was in her own right a great chef.
The reason I joined this group was because I had some questions about several reipes I was prepareing for a Valentines Day dinner for about 30 guest. I was looking for a great fresh basil salad dressing. and I was also looking for possible ways of carmalizing suger for my french vanilla flan. After looking up dozens of recipes for carmalizing the suger, I decided to do the traditiona way. Useing an 8 inch cast iron skilit I put in two cups of suger had my stove on high and began to wisk the suger until it began to melt. As the suger began to melt it began to seperate into small cluster of suger. When I counted about 15 of these suger clusters I removed the skilit from the stove and alowed the heat from the cast iron skilit to melt the remainig suger. The results was a perfect amber colored base which was then transfered to individual serving dishes.
For me the success of carmalizing 10 cups of sugger was:
1. do it in small batches of 2 cups at a time
2. use an 8 inch cast iron skilit
3. as soon as you put the suger in the skilit start sturing with a wire wisk
4. when you count between 10 to 15 small groups of suger bathed in and amber solution of melted suger, remove the skilit from the stove and alow the heat from the cast iron skilit to melt the remaining suger. Keep sturing unti all the suger is melted.
5. pour carlmized suger into molds which have been heated to above room tempeture and roll the suger around all the sides of the dish. BE CAREFUL THIS STUFF IS HOT!
6. allow to the suger to stand for about 30 minute before pouring your mixture of flan into your dish.
7. place in the frig. and allow to set about 2 hours.
Instead of just milk I used a 1 cup of french vanllia creamer and 1 cup of whole milk.
when the flan was ready I place them on a bed of mint leaves and garnish with several blackberris added a dash of nutmeg and serve.
NOTE: The process of carlmalizing suger takes some practice. You can burn the suger in less time than it takes to crack an egg. You will know when the suger is burnt by the smell. Take your time and the results will speak for themslef.