About this recipe:Budin is a traditional Puerto Rican bread pudding that is served chilled. When you turn the pudding out of the tin, a luscious caramel sauce forms - much like with creme caramel. Enjoy!
2 (7cm) cinnamon sticks
15 whole cloves
1 teaspoon anise seed
2 tablespoons water
100g caster sugar
1 (500g) loaf day-old bread
1L evaporated milk
300g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
50g butter, melted
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Bring 250ml of water to the boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and anise seeds to make an infusion. Cover, and set aside to steep for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons water with 100g sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve the sugar completely, but stop stirring once the mixture comes to the boil. Stay near the hob to monitor the colour, swirling the pan gently to redistribute the caramel as the sugar begins to darken. Cook to about 160 degrees C, or until the sugar turns light golden brown, then pour into a large loaf tin. Set aside to allow the caramel to harden.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
Remove the crusts from the day-old bread, tear the bread into cubes and place into a large mixing bowl. Strain the spice infusion through a fine mesh sieve to remove the spices. Add to the bread along with the evaporated milk. Stir to evenly moisten and set aside for 10 minutes. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl along with 300g of sugar, the vanilla extract, salt and melted butter. Stir in the moistened bread mixture until evenly mixed. Pour into the loaf tin over the caramel.
Line a roasting tin with a damp tea towel. Place the loaf tin on the towel, inside roasting tin, and place roasting tin on the oven rack. Fill roasting tin with boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the loaf tin.
Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool in the tin for about an hour, then refrigerate until cold, 2 hours more. When ready, invert the budin onto a serving plate. The caramel will have turned to a syrup and will cover the budin like a sauce.