Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Custard Block: A Guyanese frozen treat



When I was a little girl I remember my mom making this delicious frozen treat that didn't quite have the texture of ice cream, but one that was more like a block of ice.  It took a really long time to melt, but once it did, it was slushy and creamy and simply intoxicating!  I recall the outstanding flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg,  ones that would always brighten up my taste buds.  There was one particular ingredient that made this custard block stand out from any other frozen treat, and that is Bird's Custard Powder.





Want a view of inside the bag?


Bird's Custard Powder is a British product and is used for it's flavor as well as it's thickening properties.  It is a cornstarch-based powder that becomes thick once liquid is added and then heated on a low temperature.  Many people use Bird's Custard Powder as a substitute for eggs in many dessert recipes.  However, I never remembered my mom using this fragrant powder for anything else other than custard block and baked custard. 






In one of my earlier posts from last year, I posted a recipe for custard block which was made with heavy cream and eggs.  It was just as delicious, but just didn't taste like my mom's.  I have chosen to replace that recipe with this one, as this feels more authentic and close to my heart. 

Pour milk into a mixing bowl

Add custard powder, vanilla, and almond extract

Add 1/4 tsp nutmeg. You can use ground nutmeg as well

On a side note, I started a  new segment on my blog's Facebook page called, "Name That Spice!" I post a close-up photo of any particular spice and everyone takes a guess at what that spice is.  So  many of you guessed cinnamon, but now you can see that it was actually nutmeg :) To play along, just click the Facebook icon on the upper right part of this blog! 




Back to the recipe!
Add 1/4 tsp cinnamon.  You may also use ground cinnamon here if you do not have cinnamon sticks

Add 3tbsp sugar plus one more tsp.  You can taste the milk as you add sugar, some people like this dessert more or less on the sweeter side.

Whisk all the ingredients together



Pour custard into a large saucepan and continue to stir slowly on medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the custard coats the back of a spoon.

When custard coats the the back of spoon just slightly, then you know it is ready




Pour hot custard into desired dish.  My mom used to pour hers into a shallow dish so that it could be cut into squares like an actual block of ice.  Some people also pour this into ice cube trays.

Maybe you would like to serve them in individual ramekins for a nice gourmet touch ;)

Or perhaps in a popsicle mold for the kids?


No matter how it's served, it is simply just delicious! I love custard block best when it is slightly melted and slushy like this!



Custard Block

Ingredients
  • two 12oz cans of evaporated milk
  • 3 tbsp custard powder
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp almond essence
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. In a mixing bow, whisk all ingredients together until custard powder has completely dissolved. 
  2. Pour mixture into a deep saucepan and turn heat to medium-low.  With a spoon, continue to stir mixture until custard becomes slightly thick. If you walk away the custard will get lumpy and you will have to start over!  If it coats the back of a spoon just slightly, then it is ready.  See picture above with spoon test to visualize what this is supposed to look like when ready. 
  3. Pour mixture into desired dish and freeze for 5-6 hours.  

28 comments:

  1. I made this today and it was absolutely AMAZING!!! I thought it wasn't enough cinnamon but it actually tasted just right. I love your recipes and photos. Please don't ever take this site down!

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  2. Hi Alica. You brought me back to my childhood with this recipe. I poured my custard into popsucle molds that I have been wanting to use. The problem is I can't get them out!

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  3. Hi Anonymous #1! I am glad it turned out great for you! A little bit of spice goes a long way :)

    Anonymous #2 have no fear! Just take the popsicle mold and dip it quickly into a bowl of hot water. The popsicles should pop right out!

    Thanks for visiting!

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  4. I would probably choose the ramekins to serve in. These look positively scrumptious. And I especially love your pics - gives a very professional look to the recipe! Especially with the spoon coating, that way you know exactly what you're looking for.

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  5. Really interesting. Will have to try this. Thanks!

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  6. Hi,

    I haven't tried any of your recipes yet (I hope to soon) but I just want to say you do a great job explaining your recipes and incorporating photos for even the smallest details. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Hi Melissa,
    What can I substitute the almond essence with? Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. Hello! If you don't have almond essence, don't worry about it you can make this dish without it. It will still have a wonderful flavor! Enjoy!

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    2. Oh my ! I am so sorry , I am not sure why I called you Melissa LOL Sorry THank you Alicia !

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  8. I made this tonight, and I am so thrilled. The best of my childhood in a bowl. I poured mine into a muffin tin. It made the perfect blocks. My son said that it tasted like a frozen pumpkin spice latte. No mom could ask for a better compliment.

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    Replies
    1. That's awesome! I am glad your son liked it, that is the ultimate test! Thanks for visiting :)

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  9. I love how detailed you are in instructions AND pictures... You cover everything! (ie:coating of the spoon) This attention to detail in your posts really help! !

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  10. I came across this looking for a recipe to make a pudding-pop type frozen treat for my kids with Bird's - as I had no pudding on hand but plenty of Bird's. I adapted this recipe by leaving out the spices and adding mashed strawberries and then put them in molds for the kids (who really wanted strawberry popsicles) Then I made a second batch according to the regular recipe too since it looks so good! If only my freezer was faster, I can't wait to try this! thanks!

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  11. I hoped against hope that you'd have this recipe! I've been craving it lately and found a recipe some time ago, but it was rather imprecise, so I was discouraged to attempt it. I'm gonna try this one and freeze it in popsicle molds. Thank you so much, Alica!

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  12. Thanks for all the recipes. I never thought that I could do so well with cooking. Thanks. Do you have a recipe for chicken foot?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Shalinie,

      I don't have one up, but I'll add it to my recipe request list!

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  13. Hi Alica, do you have a recipe for Dahlpourie?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn, Not as yet, but I have it on my list :)!

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  14. Hi, after pouring into dish would I then let it come to room temp then freeze?

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,
      After pouring it into a dish you can put it right into the freezer.

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  15. Hi there today is the first time I have been on your website I just love all the details and how u thoroughly explain EVERYTHING!! Site is fantastic can't wait to start trying all your recipes :) diana

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  16. Can I also use this recipe to make ice cream ? Granny was queen of the ice cream I never write down or took note of what she did.

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    Replies
    1. Hi there, yes you could and put it in an ice cream maker!

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  17. Hi Alicia,
    Please advise if I can use regular whole milk instead of evaporated milk. If yes, what the measurement going to be?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Rosie, yes you can absolutely use regular whole milk. The measurement would be the same as for the evaporated, so 24oz. Good luck and thanks for your question!

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  18. Hi Alicia,
    Please advise if I can use regular while milk instead of evaporated milk. If yes, what the measurement going to be?


    Thank you

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  19. Thank so much much for this recipe. It's my 2nd time making it and my 1/2 Guyanese kiddies love it. We thank you so much for al your time spent sharing al of this. My kiddies think I am skills in the kitchen because of you ❤️-Kaminee

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  20. I heard my daddy talking about this, we'll be trying this very soon. Looks delicious.

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