Instant custard makes an interesting if rather bland pudding, so finding these for 19p at my local not-so-supermarket was a bargain I couldn’t refuse. Available in mint and chocolate flavours, they pack 150 calories for 25g in pack weight. I decided to initially test these out in the warmth of the Mud and Routes kitchen before risking them out on the hill.
Let me start by stating that they’re up against stiff competition. Reiter do an awesome chocolate pudding that will be really hard to beat, but costs in the region of £4 a pouch. I’m looking for something more suited to quickly organised weekend wild camps aplenty, where the only thing I’ll be buying for £4 is a beer and a bag of crisps.
On reading the instructions, I was immediately disappointed. You only need to add 100ml of milk, so I wasn’t going to get a lot of pud for my money. As the money laid out wasn’t much in the first place, I’d recommend taking two of these in order to make a wild camping sized pud.
Then the instructions require you whisk with an electric whisk for 2 mins. Great. That’s an euphemism for we couldn’t get this stuff to mix with cold milk properly. With a spork in a titanium mug, this was not going to end well.
I did eventually get this into a semblance of smoothness, it wasn’t perfect. This would be rather a hassle to mix up on the hill, unless you use a water bottle to shake it up.
After failing the convenience test quite spectacularly, was it going to redeem itself through the taste test? Partially. It was fine, if nothing special. I’d certainly appreciate this to polish off my meal, but I wouldn’t rave about it.
Overall, I wouldn’t bother with these on a wild camp, unless I had a water bottle to mix it in and I was strapped for cash. They didn’t even make it out of the house as they were such a pain to mix at home (using only the kit that I take on a wild camp). Obviously you need to whisk this for ages in order to get a fluffy pudding, which makes it unsuitable for camping. If it mixed a bit better, then it would make a pleasant mousse, but life’s too short. For a bargain pudding, weight watchers do an instant custard that beats this hands down, for a similar price. I’m going to have to try that out with some chocolate, or a hot chocolate, mixed in and see what kind of results I get. Watch this space.