Caramel pudding, also known as crème caramel is the Sri Lankan cousin of crème brûlée. While the brûlée encases creamy custard beneath a hard caramel giving a textural contrast, the caramel pudding has a smooth creamy texture throughout.
Though crème brûlée is more sophisticated and eye catching with its blow torch and flambé action, obviously the Sri Lankan caramel pudding version is my personal favorite among the two. This also has got to be the easiest Sri Lankan dessert ever with the least amount of prep work involved.
Anyone who grew up in Sri Lanka around the 90’s and have stepped into the pantry would’ve noticed the caramel pudding recipe at the back of a milkmaid tin – and that exactly is the recipe that I followed too. As someone who hates measuring and following tedious processes, this really was a piece of cake (or pudding if I may)!
- 1 tin of milkmaid condensed milk (small sized tin)
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 tins of water
- Vanilla essence
- Sugar (enough to cover the bottom of the dish)
To make the caramel part of the pudding, use a cake tin or a Pyrex pan and drizzle it with a thin layer of white sugar – thick enough to completely cover the bottom of the dish.
Place this over a low heat and let the sugar melt and then caramelize to a golden syrup. If you like slight bitter edge – which actually contrasts well with the sweet custard – you could caramelize a tad bit longer to a dark golden shade.
Do not stir the sugar and keep in mind to be cautious while handling the caramel as hot sugar can peel your skin off. Once you are happy with the color of the caramel, leave it to cool and harden.
To make the custard, whisk the eggs together with a drop or two of vanilla essence. The vanilla esscence will help to remove any egginess from the custard and provide a delicious aroma while steaming.
Next, empty the contents of the condensed milk tin into the egg mix and use the same tin to measure in 1.5 cups of water so that you won’t lose out any of the condensed milk goodness in the tin.
Whisk everything well and strain the custard mixture through a strainer to remove any unwhisked eggy bits.
Finally pour in the custard mixture into the hardened caramel and cover with foil and steam for about 1 hour.
I do not have a proper steamer so I instead filled my rice cooker with water and placed the dish on top of it and covered with foil and the rice cooker lid.
I find this to be an easier and safer way as opposed to steaming it on the stove top as it is less hazardous. To check the doneness of the pudding, prick it with a wooden skewer and it should come out clean.
Once the pudding has steamed, let it cool and place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours to chill.
To unmould, heat the bottom of the pudding over a low fire for about 1 minute so that the caramel loosens and place a plate over the pudding and flip the pudding onto the plate.
You will be left with a golden beauty with a slight bitter caramel sauce.
So what do you think?