I have a soft corner for puddings. Very English. Very story bookish. But I love them nevertheless. Puddings can be of different types and even using varied cooking methods- boiling, baking, steaming.
A pudding instantly brings to my mind, the bread pudding my husband makes for me, on rare occasions though. Flavoured with raisins and with a caramel base, it is unparalleled. What’s more it is steamed.So light and healthy too. Well, some amount of indulgence is permitted right?
My all time favourite is the regular Bread Butter Pudding with buttered slices of white bread, baked with egg and condensed milk. I give it a twist with vanilla beans. Oh! the aroma is to die for. Arrange the bread soaked in milk. Cover it with custard along with roasted nuts and bake it in a double boiler. This one never fails you. Me for sure. One has to be careful with the nutmeg though. Just a pinch, is a lot.
I recently tasted a Salted caramel brownie pudding at a Hotel in Mumbai. It was delicious.I am itching to make it at home myself. A sticky toffee pudding if well-made is irresistible too. But I somehow love fruits in my puddings. Seasonal ones of course.
An otherwise chocolate fan, when it comes to puddings, I prefer to skip this and try other ingredients. Strange but true. A friend of mine does a unusual tapioca pudding. Apart from the taste, the texture is unique. Our very own Rice pudding or kheer is common in India and delectable as well. A must-have on any festival or special occasion.
There are hundreds of variations of sweet puddings in England but each one begins with the same basic ingredients of milk, sugar, eggs, flour and butter. Sinful, but necessary.
Given the lifestyle choices we all make today, healthy substitutes can be used when making puddings. They should as a matter of fact.
With the advent of summer, I love to make a fresh fruit pudding using seasonal fruits and lots of nuts and honey. I also do an interesting sesame soy milk pudding. But that is great for winters. Gives warmth. Comforting too.
But without a doubt, I wait all year through for a Christmas Pudding, which easily surpasses all others. One cannot go through the season without digging into a rich one. Many hotels in Mumbai serve a great one. Generally, I like to make mine at home too. Laborious, but worth it.
Puddings need not be sweet only. Surprised? Have you ever tried the East Indian liver pudding? It is a savoury pudding which is generally used a stuffing for chicken. It is absolutely lip-smacking.
Another pudding which left an indelible mark on my taste buds is a cheese and leek pudding I sampled years ago at a restaurant in London. Nothing beats the light and fluffy, Yorkshire pudding with a gravy though.
My mouth is watering now. So what shall it be tonight? A sweet or a savoury pudding. Sweet naturally!