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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Food » Recipes: Swati's Diplomat Pudding. Suzanna's Trifle

Recipes: Swati's Diplomat Pudding. Suzanna's Trifle

By SWATI DAS, SUZANNA DEACON
Last updated on: December 26, 2022 12:14 IST
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Every meal this festive season needs a fabulous dessert and if you haven't planned ahead, last-minute puddings are guaranteed to save the day.

A far cry from the much more tedious-to-put-together traditional puddings, these no-bake treats can be knocked up in an hour or so.

Ronjita Kulkarni presents her mom Swati Das' family recipe for Diplomat Pudding

Swati, Ronjita's mom, was born and brought up in quiet, rural Hazaribagh, on the Chota Nagpur plateau, then in Bihar, when her father, who worked in the railways, was posted there from Bengal.

Originally a cantonment town established in 1790, in the 1800s many Bengalis arrived and settled in Hazaribagh, when it was part of the Bengal Presidency. There was a very small community of Christians in this town, who worshipped at St Stephen's Church, the DU Mission Church and other churches.

Says Ronjita, "My grandparents lived in those typical bungalows with a courtyard in the centre, and the kitchen on the other side. There was a garden and a well too. Her father died when she was just 15."

From this tiny corner of Bihar, Swati came to far away Bombay, to live on a pretty avenue very close to the bustling Dadar station. Recalls Ronjita, "My mother met my father for the first time during their engagement and then directly at the wedding, as he lived in Bombay and she was in Hazaribagh."

"She was a housewife when she came here. When my dad was 37, he got a heart attack, and that really shook both of them. My mother at the time was very young, with two tiny daughters, aged about three and seven, with no income of her own. My father told her she must be financially independent if anything ever happened to him.

"So she studied for her BeD and earned a degree in teacher's training."

Swati subsequently taught at the Bombay Scottish School, Mahim, north central Mumbai, for 25 years.

"This recipe, like the Raan Roast, is my paternal grandmother's recipe. She taught my mom a couple of dishes early in her marriage, and my mom continued the tradition of making them every year."

The Trifle Pudding recipe belongs to Mumbai-based Suzanna Deacon, who is a nurse. It was passed down to her from her Pune grandparents, who served the dessert on special occasions.

"I have learnt cooking from the elders in my family. I started when I was in the sixth grade and have loved it ever since."

Christmas pudding

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy: Knowledge at Dutch Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons

Swati's Diplomat Pudding

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 l full-cream milk
  • 4-5 tbsp custard powder
  • 7-9 tbsp sugar, add or reduce as per taste
  • 85 gm jelly crystals, preferably raspberry or strawberry flavour
  • 500 ml water

Method

For the custard

  • Boil the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
    Take off heat and stir in the sugar.
  • When it cools, transfer 7-8 tbsp of the milk into a small bowl.
    Add the custard powder.
    Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
    Add this mixture into the boiled, sweetened milk and mix well.
    Heat the milk again over low heat and keep stirring until the custard begins to thicken.
    Take off heat, transfer into a large glass bowl and set aside to cool but don't let it set till the jelly is added.

For the jelly

  • To make the jelly, boil 500 ml of water.
    Add 1 packet of jelly crystals into the boiling water.
    Mix well till the granules dissolve.
    Take off heat and let it cool but don't let it set.
    Add the cooled jelly liquid to the custard and mix well so you have a light pink pudding with jelly flecks.
    Refrigerate to set for an hour or so. 
    Serve chilled.

Editor's Note: You could reserve a little of the cooled jelly liquid and dribble on top of the mixed jelly-and-custard pudding and then put to set in the fridge.

You might like to decorate the pudding with a few pieces of fresh fruit.

For a sugar-free dessert use stevia powder instead of sugar in the custard. Each brand of stevia has its own stevia for sugar substitution ratio provided on its packing. And opt for sugar-free jelly.

Swati Das

IMAGE: A picture taken several years ago of Swati Das with her elder daughter Susmita Bhattacharya, a novelist who now lives in England. Photograph: Kind courtesy Susmita Bhattacharya/Instagram

Kindly note the image has only been posted for representational purposes only. Photograph: Kind courtesy Culinary Yatra/Instagram

Suazanna's Trifle Pudding

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 l full-cream milk
  • 500 gm fresh pineapple, sliced or canned pineapple
  • 50-100 gm cherries, de-seeded, halved
  • 200 cream, preferably fresh
  • 400 gm tin condensed milk
  • 4-5 tbsp custard powder
  • 7-9 tbsp sugar, add or reduce as per taste
  • 85 gm jelly crystals, preferably raspberry or strawberry flavour
  • 500 gm vanilla sponge cake, thinly sliced
  • 500 ml water

Method

  • Boil the milk in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
    Take off heat and stir in the sugar.
    When it cools, transfer 7-8 tbsp of the milk into a small bowl.
    Add the custard powder.
    Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
    Add this mixture to the boiled, sweetened milk and mix.
    Heat the milk again over low heat and keep stirring until the custard begins to thicken.
    Don't heat too long as the custard will thicken as it cools as well.
    Take off heat and keep aside to cool.
  • If using fresh pineapple slices, boil 3 cups of water. 
    Add the pineapple slices into the boiling water and cook for a few minutes.
    Take off heat, remove the pineapple slices and keep aside.
    You can preserve the sugar syrup for later. 
  • To make the jelly, boil 500 ml of water. 
    Add 1 packet of jelly crystals into the boiling water.
    Mix well till the granules dissolve. 
    Take off heat and keep aside to cool but not set.
  • In a bowl, combine the cream and condensed milk.
    Mix well.
  • Line a flat glass baking dish with the slices of cake.
    Spread the sliced pineapple, chopped cherries on top.
    Add a layer of the cream-condensed milk mixture.
    Then add a generous layer of the custard.
    Let it set for 10-15 minutes.
    With a serving spoon, spread the liquid jelly to form the third and final layer of the trifle. 
    Refrigerate for 4-5 hours or till the jelly sets.
    Serve chilled.

Editor's Note: You may also make your own sponge cake from scratch with Nivedita Gangay's recipe for Honey Vanilla Sponge Cake.

For a reduced-sugar dessert use stevia powder instead of sugar in the custard. Each brand of stevia has its own stevia for sugar substitution ratio provided on its packing. And opt for sugar-free jelly.

 
IMAGE: Suzanna Deacon is a nurse. Photograph: Kind courtesy Suzanna Deacon/Instagram

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SWATI DAS, SUZANNA DEACON