Fig leaf infused custard with toffee figs

By Caroline Velik
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cooking time:
25 minutes
Chilling/ Freezing Time:
1 hour
Level of Difficulty:


2 cups (500 ml) milk
2 cups (500 ml) thickened cream
½ cup (110 g) caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
5 fresh fig leaves, washed
5 eggs
3 egg yolks


½ cup (110 g) caster sugar
2 ½ tbps water

To serve

10 fresh figs, halved
¼ cup (55 g) caster sugar
1 cup (140 g) roasted skinned hazelnuts, roughly chopped

We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. All eggs are 55–60 g, unless specified.

Steam ovens are the perfect way to cook delicate baked custards, providing a low, consistent and accurate heat. This classic crème caramel is flavoured with fresh fig leaves and served with toffee figs to celebrate this beautiful autumn fruit.


Place 10 x 150ml metal dariole moulds on the large perforated tray and set aside.

Place milk and cream in a medium saucepan and warm over moderate heat. Add sugar, vanilla bean and scraped seeds. Roll the fig leaves up to release the flavour. Add to saucepan. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat; set aside for flavours to infuse.

Whisk eggs and yolks together in a large bowl and set aside.
To make the caramel, place sugar and water into a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to boil without stirring. Use a clean pastry brush dipped in water to wipe away any sugar crystals that form at the sides of the saucepan. When the caramel starts to turn golden brown, remove from heat. Divide caramel between dariole moulds to coat the bases.

Pour cream mixture through a fine sieve into the eggs and whisk to combine. Carefully pour into the moulds to fill. Cover each mould with a piece of aluminium foil, placed shiny side down and press edges together to seal.

Place the custards into the oven on level 3; select FullSteam 90°C. Select 25 minutes.
Remove custards from oven. Allow to cool, then place in fridge for 1 hour to cool completely.

To serve, unmould the fig custards by dipping the moulds in hot water. Run a small flexible spatula around the rim to help loosen the custard and invert onto a small serving plate.

Press the cut side of the fig halves in sugar to coat. Use a blowtorch to caramelise the figs and serve with the custard. Garnish with chopped hazelnuts.


The best place to find fresh fig leaves is a friendly neighbour’s tree. It’s worth the effort to source these as the flavour is incredible.

Authors Bio:

Caroline Velik is acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading commercial food stylists and has worked with many of Australia’s head chefs. As a food writer, she develops, tests and writes recipes, and has worked as Food Editor for a leading lifestyle magazine and as a regular, popular recipe contributor and columnist for a national newspaper. She is passionate about using fresh, seasonal ingredients to create delicious recipes that you will continue to cook again and again.

More from this author

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