So sweet, you'll think it fell from heaven.
To make the caramel:
Pour water and then other ingredients into saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar begins to brown. Do not stir. Watch carefully and tilt pan to ensure even browning. When caramel turns reddish brown and smells nutty, remove from heat. Pour into bottom of souffle dish. Allow caramel to cool at least 15 minutes before adding custard.
To make the custard:
In large bowl whisk together eggs, yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt.
In saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until steam appears.
Remove from heat and skim the film that forms on top of milk. Slowly combine the warm milk with the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
Pour over cooled caramel in souffle dish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and position oven rack in center. Put souffle dish with custard in a large roasting pan. Fill roasting pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the custard dish. Cover the entire pan with aluminum foil and bake 60 minutes until the custard has barely set (soft and jellolike only in the center). Remove from water bath and allow custard dish to cool.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until ready to serve.
If the custard is refrigerated overnight it will be easier to unmold. Run a sharp knife around the outside of the chilled custard to release it from the dish. Invert a plate over the custard and flip both quickly and simultaneously. Lift off the souffle dish. Pour any remaining caramel over the top.
- - - - - - - - - Adria Popkin, is a former pastry chef who works as a proposal writer for Salon's sales department.