Growing up in Army Cantonments and having Mess food often, Caramel Custard was and still is a favorite dessert. I learnt to make this pudding as a youngster from my mother as it is very simple and quick to make. It is also the recipe I passed on to my daughter when she started taking an interest in cooking. The recipe is in multiples of 1 and easy to remember. Not many outlets serve this pudding. I am posting the recipe below.
1 cup milk
1 table spoon sugar
1 tea spoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoon or more sugar for caramel
Since I am making it with 3 eggs all my ingredients will be multiplied by 3.
Take a steel dish in which you wish to set the pudding.
Put the 1 tablespoon or more of sugar in it.
Heat on gas on low fire till sugar melts and turns brown.
Remove from gas and rotate the dish to layer the bottom and sides with the caramel just made. Be quick as once the caramel cools it will solidify.
Leave to cool
Take a heavy bottom steel container and add 3 table spoons of sugar
Add a cup of milk
Heat on gas till all the sugar melts and dissolves in the milk
Remove from flame and add 2 cups of cold milk. Your milk and sugar mixture is now cool.
Add 3 tea spoons of vanilla essence.
Beat 3 eggs in another dish till the white and yolk are well mixed
Add the milk mixture to the eggs or vice versa. Your milk should be at room temperature before the beaten eggs are added.
Pour the mixture into the prepared caramel dish
You have to steam the pudding. Take a bigger container and add water to it. Your pudding dish should fit into it.
Put a circular ring at the base
I normally cut out the bottom of the used cheese tin and use
Place the container on flame, place the pudding dish on the ring and cover the big container.
Leave on flame on high for 20 to 25 minutes.
The pudding now looks like this after steaming
Let cool to room temperature. Put in the fridge to further cool
Take out of the fridge and invert on a serving dish when you are ready to serve.
Its ready to eat.
Trivia: I saw our Mess cook put sugar on a tava and heat it. When it turned into caramel he put the tava on the floor and with a steel bowl he lifted the caramel into fine strands forming a very elegant net around his fingers for decoration on the pudding. This has to be done just before serving as the sugar strands are fragile and collapse fast. I did try it as a youngster and did not succeed. However the image has stayed with me.
Variation: Cook in microwave
Take a table spoon and with sugar and place over the flame to make caramel.
Pour caramel in a glass bowl.
Pour the pudding mixture in the same bowl
Place this glass bowl in a bigger glass bowl with some water
Micro on full for 8 minutes. Your pudding will have set. In case you feel it needs more time you can put it again for the required time.
Cool and refrigerate. The caramel has bubbled up and changed the colour
This is equally good in taste.
Cook, eat and tell me the difference in comments below!