During the fall season, custards are usually one of the bigger hits. Custards filled with all types of fruits, spices, nuts, and accents. One thing I have noticed in the eliquid scene is that when someone finds a custard they enjoy, they usually stick to that custard for quite some time becoming long time fans of the product. The beauty of the custard is how rich, enveloping, and addicting it is. A great custard really encapsulates the entire palate often leaving the vaper in a trance state of relaxation. A good custard is also very warming and cozy, with a strong feeling of security wrapped around it. This is usually the reason the custard does so well in colder seasons and colder climates. It's like putting on a warm coat or some warm boots. And if a custard you're vaping doesn't give you that feeling then you need to find yourself (or in this case, mix yourself) a better custard.
THREE MAIN TYPES
There are three main types of custards, according to me. The traditional custard, the fruit and custard, and the bakery custard. All three are very distinct from eachother, but all three contain one same property. And that's that the custard is the star of the show, and the other elements are just there to enhance the experience of the custard.
Traditional custards are my favorite. They are quite simplistic in nature, but can become quite abstract and complex. The defining characteristic of the traditional custard is the egg. That eggy flavor is what keeps people coming back to it. It's rich, it's dense, and when accompanied by a delicious cream base, becomes so delectable. Why on Earth would you want to ruin that flavor with other fruits or spices? Getting to that point of showcasing that rich egg and pairing it with the softness of a nice vanilla is quite difficult, and only a handful of great custard recipes have ever done it. But once you have that perfect egg base, the rest is easy. My favorite accents to pair up with a traditional custard are butterscotches, caramels, cinnamons, hazelnuts, cookies, and brown sugars. I tend to keep all those notes on the lighter side, letting the full weight of the custard come out before deciding what concentrations I think need to go in for the accents. This allows me to know exactly how my custard tastes "solo". CAP Vanilla Custard v1 is usually the custard flavoring I use, varying from 3-7% with at least a 2 week steep. Some traditional custard recipes I seen uise this ingredient at 15% and steep them for 3-4 months. That seems a bit outrageous to me, though I'm not the best when it comes to steep times. After that 2 weeks is up I like to dive head first and add in my caramels and hazelnuts.
Fruit + Custards:
Fruit and custards are probably the more popular version. Everyone I know loves a great strawberry custard, and the right pairing creates such a great harmony of flavors that it's hard to pass up. One of the things to note is balance. Keeping the balance between the flavors is quite difficult. You really have to make sure that your custard base is just the right weight before adding your fruit toppings. And from there, adding accents and everything else is a bit easier. I also tend to like fruit custards with more darker, deeper, and complex fruits. FA Bilberry, Fig, Raspberry are all flavors I think that do extremely well with a rich custard because the two play off eachother so nicely. I do know some that really enjoy citrus fruits like mandarin and orange in their custards, which creates an interesting complex between the profiles that's exciting. But as long as the balance between the two are right, and the ratios are spot on, you'll have a winner.
Bakery + Custards:
This is also a favorite of mine. The difference between this and a traditional custard with bakery elements is the amount of bakery present in the recipe. If you have a custard with a clear bakery layer or dimension, than it's more towards the bakery spectrum than the custard. Again, keeping the egg of the custard as the star, the bakeries job is to lift it and give it a nice and textured base to sit on. CAP Sugar Cookie, FA Cookie, FW Graham Cracker are all amazing options you can use to build a nice bakery foundation for your custard. What's great about bakery + custards is that because both profiles are so heavy and rich, it's hard to over power eachother, giving you a lot of leeway when working with these flavors. I generally like to build a nice thick bakery layer with CAP Sugar Cookie or Graham Cracker, and then add in my custard layer, and within that contain my nutty elements or spice accents. This creates separation between the layers and gives off such a vivid sense of dimension in the flavor. Flavor stage is a very important (and often overlooked) aspect of these recipes so make sure to focus on flavor stage when drafting your recipe. If you don't know what flavor stage is, refer back to InTheMix magazine to find out more.
Have at it...
So get out there and go play with some custards. The sky is the limit and the custard is one of the best canvases to showcase warm, cozy, nostalgic, and safe recipes. It's a hard flavor profile to mess up and you're given a lot of leeway. And lastly, if all else fails, add more custard and let it sit for 4 months and you'll have a delicious vape. Don't forget to STEEP! These recipes need time, that custard, especially if using CAP VC V1, needs a good 2 weeks to come out, so don't overlook that or else you'll be left with a thin custard. And no one wants a thin custard. But have at it, and have some fun before the brisk of winter hits and you're stuck vaping margarita and watermelon recipes while it snows out.