I have always written very long posts for almost all my milestone posts on this blog. I have celebrated the blog birthdays, and then each time I achieved a number of posts on the blog, etc. Of late, I stopped celebrating. It started to make no sense to me. Should I say that they started to mean nothing to me? As this post goes live, the blog has completed 6 years old. I should have posted day before yesterday, but I wasn’t in a mood to clog up the posts on the blog. I wanted to give the posts some time, and myself some time too…
Last year was a fight of sorts. I fought to keep my spirit of blogging. I fought to keep going. There were so many reasons to it. I started the blog as a diary of recipes for myself, and then it slowly became an outlet to my thoughts. Even when the thoughts ceased, I still continued to post since I had so much to post in my drafts. I can say confidently even now that I have drafts to finish. But unlike before, I am in no hurry. I can’t take the pressure anymore. I wanted to ease myself. From blogging 243 posts in 2016 to 227 posts in 2017 to 164 posts last year, I have slowly and steadily bought down my pace. This year, I am slowing down further, and you may have already started noticing it in the number of posts done this month. There are so many reasons to it…
Blogging is no longer a passion for many. It has become a business. There are so many who are earning handsome amounts in the form of advertisements and endorsement, and what not. SEO, hits, sessions – it is becoming more and more technical than I would like it to be. There was a time when blogging was more about interaction, about camaraderie. Now, it is no longer that way. Comments are seen as a way of pushing up your Google rankings rather than interaction with your readers or fellow bloggers. Each post has to be tagged and re-tagged with God knows how many things so that it can appear on the first page when somebody searches of Google. Believe me, I still don’t understand the “funda”…
Moreover, blogging has become an expensive outlet too. From maintaining a blog to the props to whatever is used, it involves a lot of dollars and is literally draining the pocket. I can’t say I have succeeded, but last year has been more of a control year for me. I have stopped buying props thoughtlessly. A little clean up made me realize how much I had that I hadn’t even used! I have started cooking more with whatever I have and not buying ingredients that I won’t use frequently and may end up expiring. I have just started being more mindful, that’s all… As times are not very favorable, and a lot of things are getting tough. So it is best to tighten up the noose than suffer at a later stage. I guess many of you would agree on this… 🙂
My blog has never grown from where it had begun. It is very much stagnant, and sometimes to my agony, it even moves down. I sometimes wonder why do I even keep it going, but then, like I have always maintained, it is the intrinsic factors that pushes me to not give up on it. Each email I get, each DM I get when I post about recipes or my general life on my Instagram stories, each positive comment I get on posts on social media… they all play an important role in why I am still continuing. It just shows that money is not everything. There is something called emotion and thought, and it defines a lot… 🙂
So I have decided, I may keep going on, but at a much lesser pace and a calmer mind. There is no competition going on. There is no hurry to move on. I will still stick to participating in challenges that I am a part of and also try new recipes, since I feel that something new always nourishes the soul…
So I guess I leave my chatters aside and move on to what is for today… Creme Caramel, Creme Custard, Flan – call it any name but it is one and the same. An eggy pudding, steamed or baked to perfection, firmly placed in a pool of saucy caramel… Who doesn’t like it? This is one of my girls’ most favorite dessert, however I would never get it right. I have no account of how many times I have failed making this. From trying to make it with just eggs and milk to whatever combinations possible, the one I am sharing is the one that has FINALLY worked for me. Whenever I have told anybody that my caramel pudding wouldn’t set, I would get very odd looks. “How can you mess up with such an easy pudding?” 😕 Somehow it has never been friendly to me. I got all sorts of tips from many of my relatives. I am planning to slowly try other versions too, from the confidence this one has given me, hehe…
I can’t express the trepidation I had from start to the finish, when the pudding was plopped onto the plate in one piece, and the caramel just floating around it. It was a truly eureka moment. I have used cream and evaporated milk to make my creme caramel, which makes it extremely smooth and silky, with a very rich flavor and texture. I know that these ingredients are not so readily available in some places, so I am hell bound to try and make the milk+egg pudding a success, InShaAllah… I hope I can share that soon… 🙂 Till then I will leave this one with you…
Oh, by the way, just like the blog baby turned 6, our second human baby turned eight yesterday. I don’t have words to say about her. When compared to Rasha, Azza is pretty “bossy” and wouldn’t take anybody’s word. As she is growing, she is getting a way bit difficult to handle. But when she is in a good mood, she is the best person she can be. I guess the youngest one always tends to get carried away a bit. And the eldest one stays in jealousy mood all through out life. 😀 Here’s wishing her the best the Allah can give and a blissful life ahead… I guess now I will finally move to the recipe… hehe…
Creme Caramel | Flan
- FOR CARAMEL:
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- FOR CUSTARD:
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 x 170 gm can of evaporated milk
- 100 gm fresh cream
- Keep 6 ramekins ready.
- To prepare the caramel, add the sugar into a saucepan and sprinkle the water.
- Keep on low flame, swirling the pan occasionally till the sugar melts and becomes amber color. Do not stir! It will burn quickly, so switch off as soon as the dark color is achieved.
- Immediately distribute equally into the prepared ramekins.
- In a large bowl, break the eggs and whisk well along with the sugar and vanilla, till the sugar is melted. Use your hands and balloon whisk for this process.
- In a small saucepan, combine the evaporated milk and cream and whisk well. Scald the mixture - only heat, do not boil!
- Now slowly pour this mixture into the beaten eggs while simultaneously whisking it to avoid the egg from curdling. Beat well for a couple of minutes.
- Strain the mixture. Divide equally into the ramekins.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the ramekins into a larger pan and pour boiling water halfway to the ramekin.
- Bake for 25 minutes till the top looks set. Switch off the oven and leave it for 10 minutes.
- Take out the ramekins from the pan and let it come to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours till set.
- To serve, run a knife on the edges of the ramekin. Reverse on a plate and slowly tap for it to fall off. Pour the caramel. If the caramel is stuck to the ramekin, slightly warm it till the caramel melts and pour over the custard. Enjoy!
Pin for later!