Another Monday, another dessert challenge. Today’s challenge ingredient was caramel and to be honest I did not have a clue what I wanted to make. I knew I wanted to make a cute little garnish out of caramel but what to garnish?

Luckily I still had coconut flake from last week’s challenge, that went on the counter. I spy with my little eye the rum bottle, also on the counter. Open the fridge and out pops a lime – it’s fate.

A little head’s up on this dessert – it is not a quick fix and the flavors of lime, rum and coconut are added hints of flavor. This recipe will fill a six inch ramekin and should easily serve 6.


For the pudding:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest from one lime (about 2 tsp)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup coconut flake
  • 2/3 cup white flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsalted cashews, finely chopped into a flour-like consistency

For the caramel garnish:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • water (start with about 2 tbsp and add more as needed)

For the cream cheese topping:

  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
  • About 2 tbsp of white rum (I added about two splashes)
  • Juice from half a lime
  • About 1/6 cup of powdered sugar (you can add more if you want a really sweet topping)

To prepare the pudding:

1. Prepare your water bath on top of the stove. I used my pasta pot with the strainer insert. Make sure you
test with your ramekin dish – the water should come up about halfway on the dish. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduce to medium and keep an eye on it to make sure it maintains a low boil and that the water level doesn’t get too low.

2. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the vanilla, lime zest and eggs. Use a mixer to blend the ingredients well; blend on medium speed for about 5 minutes or until it looks nice and fluffy.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add the coconut and the cashews to the flour and mix well.

4. Using a spatula, slowly fold in the dry ingredients a little at a time to the egg mixture. You’ll want to make sure the ingredients are well incorporated but not over-mixed. Set aside to rest for a few minutes while you prepare the ramekin.

5. Grease the ramekin with butter and line the bottom with parchment paper. Fill the dish about 2/3 full and cover with brown kraft paper. You’ll need to use twine to keep the paper in place and be sure to leave enough room for the pudding to expand.

6. Put the ramekin in the strainer pot and lower into the bath. It should cook for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

7. Remove, let cool for about 5 minutes and invert the dish over a serving plate – get ready to garnish with goodness.

To prepare the caramel garnish:

(Can be prepared while pudding is cooking – this will take a while to cool completely)

1. Put down a sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface.

2. Bring the sugar and water to a boil on high heat in a small sauce pan.

3. Stir occasionally with a rubber spatula – once the sugar starts to brown this will cook quickly. Don’t let it burn.

4. Remove from heat and quickly drizzle your caramel on the parchment paper into fun shapes or designs. Keep in mind the size of your ramekin – the caramel will harden so try to keep to a size that will easily fit the top of your pudding.

To prepare the topping:

Blend the cream cheese, sugar, lime juice, and rum in a small bowl. Spoon on top of pudding.

Assemble your dessert and enjoy!

Now for some helpful pointers. Be careful when cooking the caramel – boiling sugars are extremely hot. To make clean up easier put the pan and the spatula in cool, soapy water as soon as you are done making your design. This is not a pan that you want to set aside until you can get to it – once those sugars harden you will have a mess that will send you to Williams-Sonoma!

It’s okay if the brown kraft paper gets wet. The purpose of the paper is to keep the condensing steam droplets from landing on your pudding as it cooks. You’ll want to make sure you leave some room for your pudding to expand – the pudding in the picture rose about 2 inches above the dish.