Friday, October 1, 2010

Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding

Creamy, delicious, and relatively quick to make, pudding can be a fabulous dessert. Why then, I ask you, don't I make it more often? I really have no idea why. I suppose the more typical desserts (cookies, brownies, cakes) usually win out. Hmmm...maybe I should remedy this.

I love pudding. I like it hot, I like it cold, and I can pretty much eat it anywhere in between. Yummy!
Not only is pudding awesome as a stand-alone, it can also be used to enhance other dessert. From trifles to cake filling, pudding is very versatile...and delicious. You should treat yourself to some : )
Vanilla Pudding
Adapted from this recipe
Makes about 4 servings

2 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter, softened

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat combine milk, sugar, and salt. (If using vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise, scrape seeds from pod, and add seeds to mixture). Heat until mixture begins to steam.

Combine the cornstarch with remaining half cup of milk, and whisk until there are no lumps. Add cornstarch mixture to milk mixture. Stirring occasionally, cook until mixture begins to thicken, and barely reaches a boil (approximately 5 minutes). Immediately reduce heat to very low. Stir pudding for 5 minutes, or until thick. Stir in butter and vanilla extract (if using).

Once thick, pour pudding into 4-6 small ramekins, or a 1-quart dish. Cover with plastic wrap, allowing wrap to lay on the surface of the pudding, to prevent the formation of a skin. Refrigerate pudding until chilled, and serve within a day.

Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from an old family recipe
Makes about 4 servings

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar (or honey sucanat)
1/4 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together all ingredients except vanilla. Cook in a double boiler over low heat until thick, stirring often. (I usually do not use the double boiler, but I do stir it constantly). Once thick, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Divide pudding into ramekins, or pour into a 1-quart dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, or serve warm - it is delicious both ways! (This recipe doubles well).


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