Invalid’s benefit

The Small Girl is ill. Not life-threateningly sick, just miserable, out of sorts, not wanting to eat anything sick. For a child who loves to eat, this is a bad sign. In the weekend I tried to atone for all my bad mothering by making her a sort of invalid’s pudding, the sort of thing that Nanny would  take up on a tray in books. She turned it down flat. So after putting her to bed I lay on the sofa with a cold cloth on my forehead, gobbled up every last bit and felt much better.

Caramel Pudding
I made this completely by memory – having a vague recollection of reading about it in an Alison Holst cookbook for toddlers that I picked up in a charity shop (and then, with great strength, put down again). There’s something similar, which is hailed as a great restorative for the infirm, in the Edmonds’ Cookbook. It’s a bit like a very thick custard. I wouldn’t serve it at a posh dinner party, but there’s something weirdly addictive about it (imagine eating cake mixture and you’re on the right track).

50g butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1tsp proper vanilla
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (not skinny milk,  thanks)
walnuts (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (you can do this in the mini bowl of your processor if you’re a slack mummy like me). Pulse or stir in the lightly beaten egg, vanilla and flour. Put this mixture in a small saucepan and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly over a low heat until it thickens. Don’t let it get too thick or you’ll end up with glue. Pour into four ramekins and top with walnut halves if desired. Chill until set.

Do you have a favourite morsel to tempt your kids back into eating when they’re ill?



  1. October 11, 2011 / 6:16 pm

    love the sound of caramel pudding! When my daughter is ill, I make chicken and noodle soup – a take on a Jewish chicken soup.

  2. October 11, 2011 / 6:52 pm

    yum! I've got to try this pudding. Sorry to hear your little one is ill.

  3. October 11, 2011 / 7:09 pm

    I hope the small girl feels better soon.

    Caramel pudding sounds yum, and you've got to make sure you're well looked after so you can look after her 😉

    Our poorly food when we were little was always white bread jam sandwiches with the crust cut off and cut into little triangles. These were special because normal sandwiches weren't jam, still had crusts and were cut in half!

  4. October 12, 2011 / 6:22 am

    Oooh caramel pudding. Lucy I'm sick. Poorly sick. Bring me pudding please? That or chicken soup always did the trick for me!

  5. October 12, 2011 / 4:57 pm

    My 4yo is sick – possibly the onset of chicken pox. I think this pudding might cure him.

  6. October 12, 2011 / 7:25 pm

    She must really be unwell to turn down this pudding! Poor little dot.
    We used to get thick custard with dollops of raspberry jam and sliced banana. Your caramel pudding looks sweet!

  7. October 14, 2011 / 5:42 pm

    hope small girl is well soon. When we were little my Mum had a doctor she had implicit faith in and his advice was 'if they are poorly give them what ever they fancy'. My brother always wanted chicken soup and oranges – I wanted crisps, lemonade and chocolate – and I got it!!! thank you Dr Hubbard forever.

  8. Anonymous
    August 28, 2012 / 6:06 am

    Any actual reviews on the pudding itself!?

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