73. biscuit pudding
a dessert to die for
Biscuit pudding has been a family favourite ever since I got married and entered the V.V.Patel household. Nunu taught me how to make the pudding. She learnt it from a demonstration given at the Friends Club. Its a very simple but rich pudding. Not for people who don’t like nuts and milk. Whenever we made this dessert for a dinner party, we had to make sure that tonnes of it was made so the family could have it again the following day. Bowls have disappeared from the fridge. So if anyone saved it to eat later, they would have to sulk and do with a piece of fruit or no dessert. My family in UK too, love this pudding, though haven’t made it for a while because now my nephews are very health conscious. Perhaps during my next visit. Its so much easier to make it there as now the caramelised condensed milk is readily available. If you are the unlucky one like me who doesn’t get ready made sweet caramel then you have to make it at home. I usually have to buy 2 packets of 200g marie biscuits because some may be broken. In UK the Marie biscuits become too soggy so instead I use rich tea biscuit. If you are in Kenya, then try and get hold of the indian Marie Biscuits as the local Manji and Brittania are really bad. This time round couldn’t find the indian ones so had to buy the horrible Manji ones and bake them again on low heat to make them crispy and a bit golden brown. You can make this pudding in a large serving tray or in individual portions. I have to make it in a tray as I don’t have space in my fridge for individual containers.
This recipe will serve 20 if they all have one piece only or its for 10 if double serving is given.
40 Marie biscuits
1 tin (397g) sweet condensed milk or Nestle Carnation Caramel or ready made dulce de leche
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
¾ cup finely chopped cashew nuts
3 cups fresh cold milk
2 cups fresh cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
- To caramelise the condensed milk, put some water in a deep pan and put the whole tin without opening it in it. Cover the pan and let the water boil gently over medium heat for 1½ to 2 hours. In between check if there is enough water. If not pour some more hot water. Let the tin cool and then open it. The milk will have turned dark brown. Mix it well. The other option is to put the tin in a pressure cooker with some water, and let it cook for nearly 5 to 6 whistles over medium heat.
- Chop the nuts and keep them ready in a plate.
- Take a butter knife and spread some of the caramel milk on the biscuit.
- Dip the biscuit in the nuts. The nuts will stick to it. Place it on a wide serving plate or in individual bowls.
- Repeat the procedure with another biscuit. Sandwich them together, the 1st one and the 2nd one.
- Repeat with the remaining biscuits. When you finish, you should have about 20 sandwiched biscuits.
- Put the milk, fresh cream, remaining caramelised milk, vanilla extract and coffee powder in a deep pan. Whisk the mixture with a hand blender. At this stage, taste the milk, if you find its not sweet then add about 2 tbsps of sugar and whisk it a bit again.
- Pour the cream milk mixture over the sandwiched biscuits. Sprinkle over with the remaining nuts, if any are left.
- Cover with cling film or foil and put it in the fridge for about 6 to 8 hours. This will make the biscuits a bit soft but not soggy.
- Serve cold.
- Buy one of those large plastic tins or trays with a lid. Very useful for desserts.
- Make the caramelised condensed milk the previous day to save on time.
- If you are making half the recipe, then the save the caramel. Put it in a container in the freezer till you need it next time. Don’t forget to add about a tbsp or so of it in the cream milk mixture.
- I have tried using other nuts but the taste is not the same. So try and get walnuts and cashew nuts.
- In India fresh cream is not readily available so I use the Amul fresh cream that comes in a packet.