Chitrangada has nutrition in mind when cooking for her family. Making tasty nutritious food is a skill she has perfected over the years.
Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence?
I think not!
Everyone's Favourite Dessert: Caramel Custard
Who doesn't like dessert? I think everyone, whether young or old, appreciates a good dessert. In my home, after a lavish meal, a delicious dessert is a must.
In Western countries, there are many types of desserts, including cakes, pies, puddings, chocolates, cookies, and ice cream. Even fruit is considered a dessert. In India, however, dessert traditionally refers to sweets such as rosogullas, gulabjamuns, laddoos, burfis, kheers, kulfi, halwas, and many, many more mouth-watering sweets.
Today, globalisation has increasingly influenced food habits all over the world. Just as Westerners like to enjoy Indian cuisine in restaurants and even cook it at home, we Indians appreciate other types of cuisine, as well. In Indian restaurants, you can often find many dishes that come from other countries. In addition, if you go to an Indian wedding, you might see food from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Italy—and the list goes on.
For me personally, caramel custard is one of my favourite desserts, and everyone in my family loves it, too. This is not without reason. It‘s so light and refreshing, and it contains no oil or fat.
Preparing it is also very easy. I used to cook it using the traditional technique of steaming it in a double boiler. However, more recently, I've discovered that it is much easier and quicker to make in the microwave.
Preparation and Cooking Time
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
Serves 5 people
- 500 milliliters low-fat milk
- 3-4 eggs (4 if the eggs are small, 3 if they are big)
- 2 tablespoons sugar, for the mixture
- 2 tablespoons sugar, for caramelising
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Boil the milk, then let it cool.
- In a bowl, add the eggs. Whisk the eggs thoroughly until they are light and bubbly.
- Add the egg mixture to the cooled milk.
- Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence. Mix them all together thoroughly.
- In a glass bowl that is suitable for the microwave, add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Place the bowl in the microwave and caramelise the sugar for 2 minutes.
- Remove the bowl, and let the caramelised sugar cool. Once it has cooled, add the prepared milk and egg mixture into this bowl.
- Again, place the bowl in the microwave oven and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. (The exact time depends upon your oven; mine takes about 8 minutes.) You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If it comes clean, your custard is ready.
- Remove the custard and place it in the refrigerator to cool.
- Now comes the tricky part: turning out the custard onto the serving plate. This step requires precision and practice. Place a serving plate upside-down on top of the bowl so that the bowl is covered with the plate. Quickly turn the bowl upside-down, remove the bowl, and see the magic! (If you prefer to make individual servings, use smaller bowls.)
- This dessert should always be served chilled. You may top it with cream if you wish, but my family and I enjoy this delicious custard plain—without any additional toppings.
Caramel Custard Photo Tutorial
Notes About the Traditional Steaming Method
The traditional method of making caramel custard is nearly the same as above. The main difference is that instead of using a microwave, you steam the mixture in a double boiler.
Preparing the caramel:
- Caramelise the sugar in a metal bowl or pan over a low flame.
- The caramel should be cooked on a very low flame. It should take about 30 to 40 minutes to be ready.
Use a double boiler:
- Add the cooled caramelised sugar to the egg/milk/vanilla mixture. Use a double boiler to steam the custard.
- Some people use a pressure cooker just as they would for making idlis, but without the weight placed above.
- If you prefer to use brown sugar instead of white sugar, you may make this substitution.
Whichever method you adopt, the taste remains the same—simply delicious.
Rate This Recipe!
“I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert. Delicately made up, not highly rouged. Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts.”
— Graham Kerr
© 2014 Chitrangada Sharan