Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cream cheese pudding

Ok. So the recipe isn't actually for pudding. It's a step-by-step photo guide to making flans. But, in Bangladesh, the words "flan" is never used, although..there isn't a single home where it isn't made, cherished and devoured. Out of respect for the fond memories, I'll keep using the word pudding instead of flan throughout this post. Bear with me. :p
Pudding in Bangladesh is usually made with sugar, milk and eggs. Here, I've added cream cheese to the egg, milk mixture which takes it closer to a cheesecake, but without the added calories. This is a simple twist on a classic take and really, really easy to make. 

Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

3/4 cups sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
8 ounces cream cheese (low fat is fine)
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

First, pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Now put sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium low heat. It won't be long before the sugar starts boiling.
 
  
Be patient, it'll seem like forever (more like 5-8 minutes..) but the sugar will caramelize to a nice golden color. This is the only tricky step to making a caramel pudding. Once the sugar turns golden remove the pot from the   stove as the residual heat will continue to cook the sugar some more and you don't want burnt sugar. That's just wrong. 

Working quickly but carefully pour the golden caramel into a 9 inch cake pan. The sugar is very very very hot at this stage and will burn if it comes into contact with skin.

After pouring the caramel, soak the pot in warm water. This makes for an easier clean up afterwards.
Now onto the next stage...Gather all the ingredients. Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, that way it'll mix easily with the other ingredients.

And blend...

Pour into the cake pan with caramel already in it.

Bake in a water bath. This just means that you put the cake pan in a bigger dish and pour boiling water that'll come upto about 1/3rd to 1/2 of the pan. Don't go over board with the water as you don't want any to get into your pudding mixture.

Insert a clean knife into the pudding after 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the knife comes out clean your caramel pudding is ready. If the pudding still seems liquidy give it 10 more minutes and check again. You do not, I repeat, do not want to overcook the pudding. There's nothing worse than a hard, rubbery pudding. Take it from someone who knows. When you take out the pudding it should wiggle a little when you shake it.

I tested to see if it was done a couple of times. Hence the marks on the surface. But the pudding will be flipped and will look pristine and no one will be able to tell.

Once the pudding cools down run a knife along the edges. Then place a flat plate on top of the baking dish and flip it over in one single motion. The pudding should fall right out. This takes a little practice. But, hey, even if it breaks it'll still taste great.


Chill for at least 4 hours to over night. Slice off a piece and enjoy.
 Didn't I tell you it was gonna be easy. :)

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