This is comfort food that is easy and indulgent. It does take a while to cook and be ready to eat, but actual time spent preparing the dessert is barely ten minutes. I like it served cold, but you can serve it warm or at room temperature too.
1 tin condensed milk
4 tablespoons sugar
Beat 4 eggs until frothy. Add the contents of the tin of condensed milk into the eggs, together with the vanilla extract. Half fill the tin with water, swirl it about to get the last bits of the condensed milk from the tin and add to the eggy mix. Mix well.
Place the sugar in a small saucepan. Set it on a gentle heat with a little splash of water. Don't stir. Just let the sugar be until it starts to melt and caramelize. Give the pan a swirl, to ensure that the colour remains even. Once the caramel has reached a light amber colour, turn off the heat and pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl that can hold all of the milk mixture in it. (You could also make this in individual ramekins but I prefer to make it in one single bowl.
Fill your steamer with water and place the bowl inside it. Fill the bowl with the egg and milk mixture. Cover the steamer and steam for about 45 minutes. The pudding should be set. Remove from the steamer and let it cool. Then chill for a couple of hours before serving.
You can also cook the pudding in the oven. To do this, half fill a large roasting tray with water and place the pudding bowl (or individual ramekins) in the tray. Cover the whole thing tightly with foil and place in a hot oven for about 45 minutes.
To serve, run a sharp knife round the inside edge of the bowl/ramekins, to ensure that the pudding will loosen from the sides. Upturn it onto a serving plate. The caramel will flow a little but I like the pudding to stand in a little pool of caramel. Enjoy!