Day 135 Burnt Cream

Today’s recipe also has an interesting title. I am making Burnt Cream from a recipe contributed by Mrs. J. R. Eden to the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.

After burning my first attempt, I decided to make just half the recipe. My first try ended up living up to the name “burnt” as I left the sugar alone just a little too long and it began to burn instead of brown. It is very important to make this dessert carefully as there are several moments of danger.

I poured 1 cup of milk in a small saucepan and left it to become hot on low heat. I put 1/2 a cup of sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat and stirred and stirred as the sugar melted and turned to caramel. I would suggest you remove the pan from the heat when the sugar is a very light brown as it continues to colour even after removing from the heat. Next I carefully poured some of the hot milk into the sugar and it bubbled up and almost out of the pan. I continued adding the milk and stirring until well mixed. I added a tablespoon of cornstarch but would recommend mixing it with a little of the milk before heated and then adding some hot milk because I ended up with lumps. I added a tablespoon of walnuts and then poured the Burnt Cream into small serving dishes and let it cool before tasting.

Mrs. J. R. Eden is Helen Ziegler the wife of John R. Eden. Mr. Eden was the mayor of Berlin on two occasions but also a teacher and an investment broker. According to Waterloo Generations the couple were married in 1884.  This was a second marriage for Helen. Her first husband Benjamin S. Eby died less than three years after they married.  Helen was Mennonite but later Anglican (Church of England) like her second husband. The 1911 census shows the couple had a 19-year-old female domestic servant named Lydia Brown living in the household at 87 Queen Street North. Helen’s heritage was German while John’s was English. Lydia was German too but Lutheran.

I didn’t really like the taste or texture of the Burnt Cream. If I make it again I will not let the sugar brown as much and will try to avoid lumps of cornstarch. I also think toasting the nuts would enhance the texture a bit more. Fans of creme caramel will probably enjoy this dessert. Did Mrs. Eden serve Burnt Cream regularly or was it a special occasion dessert? It is quick and relatively easy to make so perhaps it was made often.

Put 1 cup of sugar in a dish on the stove, and stir constantly until it is all dissolved, and becomes a deep brown. Add 2 cups of hot milk, and stir until thoroughly mixed. then stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Add almonds or walnuts chopped fine. Serve with whipped cream.

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