Japanese Style Pudding with Ginger Caramel Syrup

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Ingredients

Pudding

  • 1000ml Half and Half
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 9 Egg Yolks
  • 150g Sugar
  • 10g Gelatin Powder
  • ½tsp Salt

Ginger Caramel Sauce

  • 1 large knob of Ginger (washed, peeled and sliced)
  • 200g Sugar
  • 1tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 200ml Water

Instructions

Japanese Pudding

  1. Add a splash of water to the powdered gelatin to re-hydrate it and allow it to bloom.
  2. Place half the sugar into a pan with the half and half and heat over medium high heat until it reaches a simmer.
  3. Whisk the remaining sugar with the whole eggs, egg yolks and salt.  Pour the warm half and half mixture in batches while constantly whisky to fully emulsify the two together.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over medium high heat while constantly stirring the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula until it reaches 165°F and turns into a light custard.  Add your gelatin mix and whisk till fully incorporated.
  5. Pass the custard mix through a strainer into a large bowl, container or mold and refrigerate for 4-6hrs or preferably over night till set and firm.

Ginger Caramel Sauce

  1. Add 100ml of the water along with all the sugar and lemon juice into a large pot or pan and cook over high heat without stirring or agitating the pan until the mixture turns a medium amber colour.
  2. Add the sliced ginger and remaining water, and cook until the mixture returns to a boil, turn down the heat and allow it to simmer for 5mins.
  3. Allow the caramel syrup to cool and steep in the sliced ginger pieces for 6-8hrs before passing them through a strainer and removing them.

Notes

  • You can choose to either leave the pudding in the bowl, cup or mold and simply pour the ginger caramel syrup on top or unmold them by dipping your bowl, cup or mold in hot water for 10-20secs and inverting them onto a plate or dish and than pour your ginger caramel syrup over the pudding.
  • In general, the standard ratio for making any type of custard is approximately 1 egg to 100ml of liquid (milk, cream, etc).  I tend to prefer my pudding (or to be more precise, food in general) to be a little richer, which is why I use more eggs and half and half instead of milk.   
  • The addition of the lemon juice to the caramel syrup is to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing in the pan.  You can also substitute the lemon juice for another acidic agent such as vinegar for the same effect.
  • It’s important to constantly stir the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula when cooking the custard, as this will allow you to redistribute the heat throughout the custard mix cooking it more evenly.  Otherwise you run the risk of having a portion of your custard turning into scrambled eggs.
  • Invariably you’ll have some cooked protein from the eggs, which is why it’s important to pass the custard through a strainer.  It’ll also help catch any bits of undissolved gelatin you might have mixed.
  • Since the pudding itself is quite rich, the ginger in the caramel sauce helps to act as a palette cleanser.  So the dish itself doesn’t feel too heavy and you can eat more of it.  
  • What makes this pudding Japanese, isn’t so much the flavour profile but the method in which it’s produced.  Mainly, this pudding is set with the aid of gelatin rather than relying on the cooking the protein within the eggs like with other dishes such as creme brulee or creme caramel.
  • My background is Chinese, and I took inspiration for this dish from childhood growing up eating “tofu fai” (soft silken tofu in sugar syrup).  This along with Japanese sushi where they serve you pickled ginger to eat in between each piece of sushi to act as a palette cleanser was the idea for the ginger caramel syrup.

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