Dazzling Cafe – Mint

Yesterday I had afternoon tea with Hazelnut. It’s been awhile since I last saw her because she’s been busy with school in Taoyuan and hardly ever have time to visit Taipei. We decided to try Dazzling Cafe Mint and had a nice chat over some coffee and honey toast. Dazzling Cafe has quite a few stores, and their first store (pink) and the mint are both conveniently located near MRT Zhongxiao Dunhua station. Dazzling cafe is famous for their honey toast boxes, and each store has unique menu items.

The minimum order here is one drink per person, so in the end we each ordered a drink and ordered one honey toast box to share.

Caramel honey toast (3/5) $240NTD:

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The toast box was very pretty to look at. This wasn’t a special menu item, because all the special toasts at this location are Danish (and I don’t  particularly enjoy Danish toasts). The pretty swirls on the plate was honey, the little dish contained more  honey, and the yellow custard was also flavoured with honey. This toast came with a scoop of ice-cream (I think it might have been maple walnut), drizzled with caramel sauce on top. I want to try making honey toast myself next time. I saw them make it once at what8ver cafe in Richmond, Canada, and it didn’t look too difficult. I think 2 people sharing one toast box is perfect. I really wanted to try their Halloween special toast (they even cut the bread so it looks like a Jack-o-Lantern!!), but that one had to be ordered with a meal, which was only available during meal times. So boohoo. :(

I had a rose latte, and this was a store special (4/5) $150NTD:

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There’s a little bit of alcohol in this drink, which warms you up on a chilly afternoon, and it’s a good choice for those who enjoy floral drinks (like me~). The coffee didn’t taste sour or bitter, and it was sprinkled with rose buds.

It was nice to hear Hazelnut’s stories and share my stories with her as well. It’s so easy to talk to her. :) I think that’s what friends should be like. No pressure, carefree, and no need to worry about saying something that might offend someone because it was interpreted in a different way. I understand that everybody’s different and are entitled to their own feelings and emotions, but I personally dislike misunderstandings and unnecessary drama. Also, for whoever’s reading this, please don’t take it personally because I am not writing about anybody in particular, it’s just a general statement. Kthxbye!

Creme Caramel

Creme caramel.. A combination of sweet caramel and soft, egg-y pudding. The flavors are smooth and rich; you cannot have one without the other! What more can you ask for from a pudding?

I forgot where I found this recipe.. Possibly on allrecipes? It is a very good recipe and not too difficult to make. The most challenging part is the caramel. It only takes a few seconds for caramel to go from great to burnt so you have to watch it carefully.

Creme caramel baked in ramekins

The caramel on the bottom

Creme Caramel (Serves 6)

For the custard:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1/2 vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 eggs
Pinch of salt

For the caramel:
1/2 cup sugar

*****

Instructions

For the custard:

1. Heat the oven to 325F.
2. Heat the cream and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until scaled (small bubbles will form on the sides of the pan).
3. Split the vanilla bean in half (if using) and scrape the seeds into the cream.
4. In a medium bowl, slowly whisk the sugar into the egg yolks and eggs.
5. Slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the egg mixture.
6. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve.
7. Stir in the salt and vanilla extract (if using).

For the caramel:

1. Arrange six 6-oz. ramekins in a baking dish with deep sides and set aside.
2. Put the sugar into a saucepan and add enough water to dissolve the sugar. Set the pot over high heat.
3. The mixture will come to a furious boil after a few minutes. It will start to colour. Swirl the pan to even out the caramelization. When the caramel is an even dark brown, pour it into the ramekins.

Be careful!! The caramel at this stage is over 300F. If the caramel cools in the pot at this stage, it will become a sticky mess..

To bake:

Pour the custard into the caramel-lined ramekins. Fill the baking dish with water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the dish with foil (to prevent the tops from drying out). Bake for 25-50 minutes until just set. Remove. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. To eat, invert the custard onto a dessert plate by running a thin knife around the edge.

My own personal notes:

– I don’t brown the caramel until a dark brown because I find that it ends up burning since the pot is still very hot after being removed from the heat. I stop heating when a lighter brown colour has been achieved.

– 25 minutes to 50 minutes is a very broad time range.. I bake mine for 35 minutes.

That’s all I have to say for now. Happy baking~