Cooking caramel custards in microwave?

90
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Joined Aug 12, 2004
Good evening.
Is it possible to cook caramel egg custards in microwave oven?
Is it recommendable?
1 egg per 100 ml of milk is a good ratio?

Thanks.
 

kuan

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Joined Jun 11, 2001
Of course you can do it. You just don't want the custard to boil. Do it on a very low heat and you should be fine.
 

pete

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I don't know that you could fully cook a custard in the microwave. One of the problems with microwaves is that they tend to heat unevenly, creating hotspots and cold spots. I think this would cause some parts of the custard to souffle while other parts remained undercooked.
 
27
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Joined Feb 6, 2005
Recently took a flying leap with an old-fashioned egg custard in the microwave (and sugar free, too).

2 Cups milk (about 500 mL, so 1 large egg to the 1/2 Cup or 125 mL milk), 4 extra large (veggie fed) eggs, pinch salt, and for flavouring, 4 Tbsp DaVinci Gourmet Praline sugarfree flavouring syrup, though any fine sugar and some excellent pure vanilla extract will work well.

Used a pyrex heatproof bowl, a balloon whisk, a 1000-watt microwave with turntable.

Worked like a charm; THOROUGHLY whisked the eggs, whisked in the milk, salt and flavouring/sweetening syrup, then 3-minute sessions -- whisking thoroughly between each -- at full power and 1 or 2 30-second sessions to finish, as the custard thickened, to avoid curdling or uneven cooking.

Wouldn't work for a creme caramel or creme brulee though...these require surface or ambient heat to either melt or crystallize the sugars.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Thanks for the update!

A couple of questions:

1. Since you were using 1/4 cup of liquid flavoring/sweetener, did you adjust your other liquid (the milk)?

2. What was the consistency of the finished custard? Was it one solid (albeit creamy) mass, or still somewhat pourable like a creme anglaise?

3. How long did it actually take -- how many 3-minute sessions?

4. And what was the power level for the 30-second bursts?

5. Finally, given that you had to focus on it during the entire cooking time, unlike a baked egg custard which you would be able to leave unattended once it went into the oven in its water bath, was it worth your concentrated time? Was the custard any better than the "old-fashioned" method?
 
27
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Joined Feb 6, 2005
Sorry for the wait, Suzanne. Hmmmm, details:

1. No, the proportions were precisely as listed. The eggs were large enough (somewhere between large and extra large) when I eyeballed them, that I judged there'd be plenty of thickening power to go around.

2. The finished custard was pretty much solid, and grew more so on chilling. Not pourable.

3. Um, 1 3-min session to take the chill off the volume of the milk, a 2nd very careful 3-minute session (interruptus X 3 with balloon whisk) to bring it up to denaturing heat, then the 2 final 30-second bursts with a careful eye to spot heating and curdling.

4. IIRC, I brought the power down to 40 or 50% (1000 watt oven) on the short bursts.

5. For me, the microwave was the preferred method. Partly because I was experimenting to see if I could get a curdle-free custard out of the microwave, and partly I don't much care to crank up the oven and a water bath for anything less than an 'entertainment'-size set of custards. :eek:

Besides, "wall-time" is still much less with the microwave than with setting up and preheating the oven, etc. In a commercial environment, it would probably be different...
 
27
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Joined Feb 6, 2005
One was using direct heat (on low) and the other is full power microwave in controlled bursts. Different methods, personal choice.

I don't think you can compare the two methods (is one better than the other), they are constrained by the tools in use...
 
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