Foodie & Her Feast

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Just finished writing my about me!! And now it’s time for my First Post! I wanted this to be something special, something easy and something close to my heart. All this points towards that one recipe, My Nutty Caramel Pudding. This was the dish that started it all, the one that made me want to grow up and become a chef. A family recipe passed to me by my aunt, this pudding has been a super hit ever since the first time I made it while in my 5th std. Anyways, as the new Cadbury ad goes, “Koi Bhi Shubh kaam karne se pehle, kuch meetha ho jaye hai” and that is exactly what I did, I made the pudding, took some pretty pictures, savoured it for few moments, then gulped it down faster than the holocaust victims would have and is now writing this post with a stomach full of pudding. The recipe follows, try it out and let me know how it goes. The pudding is a rich combination of nuts, cherry and caramel. It’s one of those deserts that you can keep eating without getting tired of it. As this pudding is steamed on a stove top, even people who are intimidated by "ovens" can give it a shot.

Ingredients
For the pudding:
  • 3 Sponge Cup Cakes
  • ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ Lt Milk
  • 1 Tsp Ghee
  • 3 Eggs
  • 20 Gms Golden raisins (kismis)
  • 40 Gms Cashew-nut
  • 30 Gms Sweet Red Cherry
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
  • a pinch of Salt
For the caramel: 
  • 3 Tbsp Caster Sugar
  • Water - As required
Cooking time: 30 mins Serving: 6-8 people

Method

Pudding:

  • Grease the pudding pan with ghee. Use more ghee if required, but do not add too much of it.
  • Cut the raisins, cashew-nuts and cherry into small pieces. The smaller the better.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the milk and sugar until the sugar is almost dissolved.
  • Powder the cupcakes using your hands and add it to the milk-sugar mixture.
  • Add the cut nuts and fruits. Mix well.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs well.
  • Prepare the caramel (method below) and pour it into the greased pan.
  • Add the beaten eggs to the milk mixture. Add the vanilla essence and a pinch of salt. Mix well. There is about 600 ml of batter. Choose an appropriate pan.
  • Pour the batter very carefully onto the caramel in the greased pan. Fill only about ¾th of the pan. Don’t worry if the caramel mixes slightly with the pudding. It will set properly on cooking.
  • Pour enough water into a steamer or “Appachemmbu”. Steam the pudding on high flame for 5 minutes and then reduce the flame to medium-low fire. Cooking time depends on the vessel and the dimensions of the pan, so start checking after 15-20 minutes. Pudding will be done when the batter is not runny and a fork or a tester comes out clean. But don’t leave it for too long as then the pudding will harden.
  • Once done, take off the flame and let it rest for 2-3 minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate.
  • Indulge!

Caramel:

  • Heat the castor sugar in a small bowl on low fire, stirring continuously as the sugar might burn otherwise.
  • Once the sugar has melted completely and reached a dark honey colour, add the water and mix well immediately. Please be prepared for some splatter and platter while adding water.
  • Let it simmer for some time. Add more water if required.
  • When the caramel has reached the desired consistency, take off fire and pour it right away into the greased pan.

Notes

  • The quantity of nuts and fruits are just an indicative. You can vary the quantities according to your preferences. It is advisable that the total quantity to not exceed 100 gms, then again, its ones personal choice here.
  • The quantity of water to be added while making caramel depends on the size of the pan and how thick you want the caramel to be. You can get a rough idea by filling the pan with some water, before greasing it, that is!
  • If you are dividing the batter between more than 1 pan, then make sure you mix the batter well before pouring, as the fruits and nuts tend to settle at the bottom.
  • To save time, you may put the steamer on fire without waiting for the batter to be ready. In this case, ensure that when the pudding pan is being set, the water is not too hot, as 1) it will be difficult to keep the pan in place properly with touching the steamer. 2) The steam will cause the eggs to cook right away and leave omelette like pieces on top of your pudding and trust me you don’t want that. (Speaking from experience, you see!). So it is safer to get the pudding ready first, set it up and then switch on the gas. At least, the first time you try this!

Nutty Caramel Pudding

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