- ⅓ cup sugar (for caramel)
- 1–2 Tbsp water
- 1 ½ tsp gelatin powder
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup whole or 2% milk
- ⅓ cup whipping cream
- 3–4 Tbsp condensed milk (sweetness is up to you)
- 1 Tbsp matcha powder
- A pinch of salt
- 4–5 Heat-proof cups or mold for the pudding
SAFETY NOTE: Be extremely careful when working with caramel as the temperature can reach close to 400°F, so if it drips onto your hand it’s a VERY bad burn. As a reference, boiling water is only 212°F…so imagine something almost double that! Don’t have kids around the kitchen when working with caramel. Wear heat resistant gloves if you have some. It’s wise to have a bowl of ice cold water around, and in case you get some caramel on your hand, immediately dip your hand in the ice water to cool it down.
Make the pudding:
Sprinkle the gelatin powder onto the water, scattering the powder around so as to not create a mound of powder. Let the gelatin bloom (absorb water) for about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk, whipping cream, condensed milk and salt in a small pot over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to steam and froth. Turn off the heat and sift the matcha powder into the milk, a little at a time, whisking in between. Keep whisking until the matcha is well distributed in the milk and there are no more lumps. Add the bloomed gelatin into the hot milk and stir to dissolve completely.
Set the mixture aside while you make the caramel. (I realized after filming that it’s better to make the pudding before you make the caramel so the pudding has time to cool before you use it. If you don’t let it cool, you might get wrinkled surface like in the video, which is not a big deal but it’s nice not to have it so you have the option of serving it sans garnish in the cup. It will also mean that you can put the cups in the fridge right away cuz the pudding won’t be piping hot!)
Prepare you pudding cups: Place the cups you’re using for the pudding into a rimmed baking sheet or brownie pan. Add about half an inch of off-the-boil water into the pan to keep the containers hot. Do this just before you make the caramel so your containers don’t cool down before you fill them.
Make the caramel: In a small pot, add the sugar for caramel, and just enough of the water to wet all of the sugar. Put the pot on medium heat and allow the sugar to dissolve without stirring. If you feel like it needs a stir, swirl the pot instead. If you have sugar grains stuck to the side of the pot, brush it with some water to dissolve it. Once the sugar starts to turn golden, keep an eye on it and do not walk away! If the colours are not even, swirl the pot to even out the colour.
Just before the caramel reaches your desired darkness, remove from heat; it will continue to darken once you take it off heat, so take it off a bit earlier. The darker the caramel, the more intense (and bitter) the flavour, so it’s up to your preference. Immediately and carefully pour a little bit of caramel into each pudding cup. You need only about 3-4 mm of caramel per container, but feel free to put more or less to taste. Swirl the cup around to distribute the caramel evenly. Take the cups out of the water and allow the caramel to harden.
Back to the pudding: Strain the pudding into a spouted cup. If you have lots of little matcha lumps, mash it through the sieve, and spoon some of the milk mixture through the sieve again to wash the matcha powder off the sieve. Pour the pudding on top of the hardened caramel. Refrigerate for at least 1 day. The pudding will be chilled and set after a few hours, but the caramel will need more time to dissolve completely.