Custard is a sweet, thick sauce, often made from milk and cream with the addition of whole eggs or egg yolks. Custard can be cooked in a saucepan or in a double-boiler, or it can be put into an oven and baked, or it can even be steamed. Other dishes, such as panna cotta, crème brulee and crème caramel are also variations on custard — and whichever way they're cooked, they're delicious. Read on for some delicious custard recipes, including a speedy microwave custard and a chocolate custard pud with custard crumble topping.

Custards are often cooked in a water bath, which helps to stop the outside of the custard from cooking too quickly and instead ensures that it cooks evenly. Water baths are a simple enough thing to use, actually - all you need to do is put the custard dish into a roasting tin and pour boiling water into the tin so it comes halfway up the sides of the dish.

It's also easier than you may think to get a custard to set - most of the time, all you need to do is pour a little hot milk into the eggs or yolks to get them to stabilise, then whisk the hot egg yolks back into the custard very carefully. Doing this helps stop the custard from curdling and will make sure you have a smooth, creamy custard every time.

Take a look at the recipes above for some custard inspiration - we have recipes for orange custard, chocolate custard, brandy custard, panna cotta, crème brulee and for a rather lovely Easter hot cross bun custard pudding.