This beautiful, spiced Sri Lankan custard makes a perfect finish to a meal. It can be served warm or chilled, in which case you could make the recipe a day in advance. Make a little extra syrup to spoon over the top if desired.
- 175 g jaggery or dark palm sugar, roughly chopped
- 100 ml water
- 375 ml coconut milk (homemade, or use a good-quality brand like Kara)
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp ground mace
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- 200 ml cream
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Put the jaggery or palm sugar and water in a saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 140°C. Whisk the coconut milk with the spices and rosewater. Strain in the syrup, whisking to combine, then add the cream followed by the eggs. Transfer mixture to a jug, pour into 8 small ramekins and place in a baking dish. Pour hot water to come halfway up the ramekins and bake in the oven for 50–60 minutes, or until the custards are just set.