Individual Dutch Babies with Orange Zest

I had never even heard of a Dutch Baby until a few months ago, when I came across a recipe in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.  Once I saw the strange caved-in dessert, I knew I had to try it, so on my Culinary Bucket List it went.

In the New Year, I vowed to make at least four recipes from my Culinary Bucket List, but I know I can do better than that.  Maybe, just maybe, I can do one recipe every month.  It’ll be like a tasty gift to myself.  Last month, I made Sticky Toffee Pudding for mon mari’s birthday, and this month, it’s the Dutch Baby, although I decided to call mine “Orange Babies” as I baked them.

This recipe is adapted from Dutch Baby with Lemon Sugar by Andrea Albin.  The only modifications I made were to substitute the zest of an orange, and add a full teaspoon of vanilla, and the juice of half an orange.  I got the idea to make individualized portions by reading a second recipe, Dutch Babies Recipe by Khalilah Ramdene. When I read the comments to these recipes, I learned that the spice additions may not be “authentic,” but they sure are tasty!

Individual Dutch Babies with Orange Zest
Makes 4 portions.  Please view my “Cooking Notes” at the bottom of the post for additional comments and suggestions.

1/3 cup white sugar
the zest of a medium-sized orange
3 large eggs, sitting at room temperature for 30 minutes
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
the juice of half an orange
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
cooking spray

Optional:  powdered sugar, to garnish

Equipment:
a set of four ramekins
small baking sheet or half sheet pan

Method:
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine the sugar and the orange zest in a small bowl.

Zested.

This sugar smells divine.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs on high speed for several minutes until they are pale and frothy.  With the mixer still going, add in the vanilla, the orange sugar mixture, and the juice of half of an orange.

Finally, add in the dry ingredients: the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and flour and beat until the batter mixture is smooth.  There will be little flecks of orange in the batter.  The recipe notes that the batter will be thin, and this is true, because I worried about the consistency of the batter until I checked the recipe again!

The finished batter.

Grease each ramekin with cooking spray.  I prefer the baking variety that has a bit of flour in it.

Fill the ramekins nearly full with the batter.  There will be enough for all four, I promise!

Each little ramekin gets a good dose of Dutch Baby batter.

Bake in the oven for about 22 minutes.  The original recipe recommends a range of 18-25 minutes.  When I checked on the “Orange Babies” at 18 minutes, they were still a bit moist and uncooked, so another 4 minutes was perfect for my oven.  The batter puffed up just fine and they were a little brownish and burnt-looking at the edges, but after looking at other images of Dutch Babies, I determined this was probably normal.

These are fresh out of the oven and the poufs are falling. See how some of the Dutch Babies are more browned than the others?

I topped my little “Orange Babies” with a dusting of powdered sugar to serve.

Dressed-up Babies.

Cooking Notes:
  I don’t know what I expected a Dutch Baby to taste like, but the eggy, souffle-like consistency surprised me.  These “Orange Babies” are similar to puddings and are a bit dense.  I wonder if the consistency is lighter and crispier if the Dutch Baby is prepared the traditional way in a skillet?

  I am glad I added the orange flavoring because the cinnamon and nutmeg tend to get a bit lost in this recipe and without the orange, I think the Dutch Babies would be very bland. When I make these again (mon mari already wants more), I will put in additional cinnamon and nutmeg… probably 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

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