½ cup water
1½ cups sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
3/4 tsp. salt
15 whole cloves
1/4 lb. butter
1 tsp. anise seeds
1 lb day old bread
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups evaporated milk
Caramel . . . .
½ cup sugar
2 tbs (water)
In a medium non-stick sauce pan, mix sugar and water and stir a couple of times. Now heat this over medium heat, without stirring - you can swish it around, until the syrup melts and turns golden. Large bubbles will begin to form just before it's ready. So, remove from heat immediately once it bubbles for a minute or so.
Coat the "budí-pan" with the syrup by pouring and slowly turning the pan letting the syrup cover the bottom and sides. Let it sit for about 10 minutes or so until the caramel hardens. Now your pan will be ready for the budín.
Budín . . .
Prepare a tea using water, cinnamon, anise, and cloves, boiling until the water darkens. Remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks.
Remove the crust from the bread and break it into small pieces about 1" square. Add the milk and "tea" to the bread and let it soak. Mash the bread with your hands - don't use the blender. It needs to be lumpy.
Mix together eggs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Stir in the raisins. Mix with bread mixture using a large spoon (no blender).
Pour over a caramelized mold.
Place the mold into a larger rectangular pan that is at least 2 inches deep. Place both of these into an oven that's been preheated to 350ºF. Now pour hot water into the larger pan to within ½" of the top of the casserole.
Bake for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the budín.
Let cool. Refrigerate.
When ready to serve, invert the budín onto a serving plate. The caramel syrup will cover the budín.
Keep refrigerated. May be served at room temperature.
Serve with café con leche.