Here’s a fabulous sweet Venetian dish from Nino Zoccali’s new book, Venetian Republic (Murdoch Books). The new book is a wonderful combination of dishes from the Veneto, Adriatic Croatia and the Greek islands. To tell this story, the respected writer, chef and restaurateur draws on his wide experience in all these regions to bring us the best of local cuisine. Yum!
See Jacqui’s interview with Nino in this edition of The Starfish at: http://www.thestarfish.com.au/nino-zoccalis-passion-for-the-veneto/
Prep Time 10 minutes, plus flan setting and chilling
Cooking Time1 hour
This Venetian crème caramel, orcrema rosada, is found throughout the Veneto, in Venice and along the Dalmatian coast, and is even quite famous in Dubrovnik. Its name refers to Rosolio, the rose-scented liqueur used in the traditional recipe, but far less prevalent today. Despite the fact that nowadays people use a wide range of liqueurs or spirits – most commonly rum – the rose-inspired name has stuck.
100 g (3½ oz) flaked almonds
120 g (²⁄₃ cup) raisins
Rum, for soaking the raisins
150 g (²⁄₃ cup) caster sugar
600 ml (2¹⁄₃ cups) milk
600 ml (2¹⁄₃ cups) single (pure) cream
4 teaspoons Rosolio liqueur (or any preferred liqueur or rum)
100 g (3½ oz) maraschino cherries
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Arrange the almonds evenly on a baking tray and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until golden brown. Take the tray out of the oven and remove the almonds from the tray to prevent them over-colouring. Allow to cool completely before using.
Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F).
Put the raisins in a bowl with enough rum to just cover them. Set aside to soak.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs with 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar until a pale cream colour. Add the milk, cream and liqueur and combine with a spatula.
Place the remaining sugar in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 3–5 minutes until a deep caramel colour (do not stir). Pour the caramel into a 23 cm (9 inch) diameter x 10 cm (4 inch) deep ovenproof glass bowl, covering the base evenly. Leave to set in a cool place.
Pour the cream mix into the bowl, making sure it is evenly distributed. Place the bowl in a deep roasting tin and pour hot water into the tin until it reaches three-quarters of the way up the side of the bowl.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes: the flan should still wobble in the centre when gently shaken. Remove from the tin and refrigerate until completely chilled.
Run a small knife around the edge of the bowl, then turn out the crema rosada onto a serving plate. Serve with the rum-soaked raisins, maraschino cherries and toasted almonds.
Images and Text from Venetian Republic by Nino Zoccali. Food photography by Alan Benson and styling by Vanessa Austin. Murdoch Books RRP $49.99. Now available.