Caramel Pudding. Smooth, creamy, silky texture of this dessert is soul satisfying and comforting.
Caramel Pudding, also known as creme caramel or classic flan or caramel custard is a silky smooth dessert which is pretty easy to make with very few ingredients and efforts. To make a perfect caramel custard few simple things you need to keep in mind. If you follow the tips given you will get smooth silky caramel pudding standing on a lovely rich golden caramel sauce every time you make it.
What is caramel pudding?
It's a custard base dessert where a thin layer of caramel goes into the bottom of the pan and later become the top of the pudding when inverted.
To make this toothsome dessert you need only 5 ingredients, milk, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt (and a little patience 😃)
How to make perfect caramel?
Making a nice golden caramel is very important for a perfect caramel pudding. There are two process of caramel making - wet caramel and dry caramel. I prefer to use wet caramel method always, which is adding a little water with sugar and give it time to form the caramel. All you need to do is in a heavy bottom pan or in a non stick pan put the sugar with little water turn on the flame to medium low and wait patiently till you get the colour of caramel you want. Now one thing to keep in mind never stir your sugar water mixture, always give it a swirl. It will take around 5 to 7 minutes to get the desired colour. Don't over cook the caramel. It takes only few seconds to go from perfect caramel to burnt caramel. If your caramel is burnt it will give your pudding bitter taste.
What is tempering?
To make the base of the custard you have to temper the eggs with hot milk. Tempering is adding one ingredient to another which are of different temperature. It may sound very tricky but trust me it is not. All you have to do is take little portion of hot milk and slowly pour it into the egg mixture and keep mixing with a whisk. Once more than half of your milk is mixed with egg you don't need to mix little portions, pour the rest slowly while stirring continuously. When your mixture is ready strain the mixture through a sieve. And your base is ready. Now here's few things to keep in mind- 1)Do not use whipping motion. Just stir slowly until the mixture is even. Too much whisking will create air bubbles which will ruin the smooth texture of your custard. 2) Stir continuously while pouring milk in eggs to avoid scrambling. 3) Always pour milk in eggs, never pour your egg mixture into milk or else you will end up with scrambled egg.
That's it. make the perfect caramel, make the base then bake it. you can also use a pressure cooker or steamer to make the pudding. (*See the note)
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 45 Minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yields: 6 servings
Full fat milk - 500 ml
Eggs - 5 large
Sugar - 1/2 Cup for caramel + 1/4 cup for custard (use fine grain sugar or powdered sugar)
Salt - A pinch
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Lightly grease moulds with butter. You can use a 6" round tin or 6 single serve Moulds or ramekins.
In a nonstick or a heavy bottom pan place 1/2 a cup of sugar with 2 tablespoon water.
Let the sugar dissolve, then on medium low heat let the sugar cook.
When you see the light amber colour give it few swirls and when it comes to the desired dark amber colour switch off the flame and immediately pour the caramel into the molds. Be very careful while working with caramel as it is very hot sugar.
Let the caramel set.
Preheat your oven at 160 degree C.
Take 500 ml milk in a pan and simmer till it becomes hot. Do not boil. Once milk is hot Switch off the flame.
In a large mixing bowl mix eggs with sugar, salt and vanilla essence.
Once your milk and egg mixture are ready start tempering by pouring little amount of milk at a time in the egg mixture while stirring continuously.
When more than half of the milk is mixed with egg pour the rest slowly while stirring continuously.
Strain the mixture through a sieve and then pour in the caramel lined moulds. Straining will help remove any bits of eggs and air bubbles from the mixture and this will give your custard that silky smooth texture. So do not skip it.
Place the moulds in a deep pan and very carefully place the pan into the center rack of preheated oven. Fill the pan with hot water up to 2-3 cm.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
You will know your custard is ready when it is almost set but little jiggly at the center when you give it a shake. Or a tooth pick inserted in the center will come out clean.
Take out from the oven, remove from the water bath and place it on a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Once cooled keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours or preferably over night.
When you are ready to serve run a knife around the edge to loosen the sides. Place a plate on it and invert quickly.
And there you go. Your perfect smooth and rich caramel pudding is ready to enjoy.
Here is how to make it with step by step pics:
Use full cream milk for creamy texture.
Keep an eye while making the caramel. If it's your first time don't go for the very dark colour. Try light golden colour caramel at the beginning and once you are confident go for more dark. If your caramel is bitter your pudding will taste bitter too.
Pour the custard mixture once the caramel is set otherwise it will mix with milk and you wont get the perfect layer of caramel.
You can make the pudding in cooker or steamer too. In that case use a single mould. Heat some water in the cooker. Place a stand and carefully place the custard fill mould on it. The base of the tin must touch the water. Cover with foil or with a lid. Steam it on medium low flame for 15 to 20 minutes. Then cool it completely and refrigerate.
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