Microwave the kabocha until tender, and take off the peel. Preheat the oven to 340F/170C.
Make the caramel sauce. Put the ★ sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a small pan. Heat until golden brown, turn the heat off, and add the rest of the water.
When you are making the caramel, don't use a spatula to mix, swirl the pan instead. The sauce may bubble over when you add the water. Please be careful not to burn yourself.
Pour the caramel sauce into small pudding molds or ramekins. I used 8 pudding molds.
Put all the ingredients except for the ★ ones into a blender, and puree.
Pour the mixture from Step 5 into the pudding molds. Put the molds on a baking sheet that's the right size, add 1 cm of boiling water to the pan, and bake in the oven.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes. The cooking time varies depending on how big your molds are and your oven.
When the puddings are set, cool down and then chill in the refrigerator. Optionally, decorate with whipped cream and other garnishes.
These are quite rich puddings with a pronounced kabocha squash flavor. You can also make a delicious sweet potato version, replacing the kabocha squash in this recipe.
I floated cookies on top of the kabocha squash pudding. The cookies get nice and moist. I recommend this version too.
If you get very dense and floury kabocha squash, add about 30 to 50 ml more milk.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to eat a rich baked pudding that highlighted the delicious taste of kabocha squash.
You can use ready made caramel sauce instead. If you make your own caramel sauce, please be careful not to burn yourself. When you add the boiling water to the baking sheet, it gets very heavy. So I recommend using a baking sheet that's just big enough to fit all the molds. Be careful not to burn yourself at this step too.