Sunday, October 4, 2009
Split Level Puddings
As those of you who have been following the blog for a while know, I love homemade chocolate pudding. The only thing I don't love is all the standing at the stove stirring. This past week I decided to try a vanilla pudding recipe (don't be too shocked, the vanilla pudding sits on top of chocolate ganache) that you don't stand over the stove and stir (nor do you use a microwave or a box). I now love vanilla pudding as well and see no reason not to make pudding a lot more often.
Needless to say, these were a hit with my family. Curtis liked to heat his up for 15 - 20 seconds in the microwave before eating it. I liked to allow mine to warm just to room temperature. However you like them, they are good! The chocolate ganache (which is chocolate melted in hot cream) is wonderful on the bottom--a little surprise (unless you use glass ramekins like I did and can see it lurking on the bottom). I used semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. I also have both pulsed the vanilla and butter in the food processor and stirred it in on the stove (and not putting back into the food processor). I almost liked just stirring it on the stove better, but you can experiment and see what way you like best (because you will want to experiment with this recipe just so you can make it more than once!). Like all pudding, you can also use skim, it just won't be quite as rich.
Split Level Pudding
slightly adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
2 oz (1/3 c) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 c heavy cream
2 1/4 c whole milk
6 T sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
3 large egg yolks
2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces,
1 T vanilla
Put the chocolate in a glass measuring cup. Heat the heavy cream to boiling and pour over the chocolate. Allow to stand for almost a minute and then gently stir to melt chocolate. Divide chocolate into 6 ramekins or pudding cups (each cup should hold 1/2 - 3/4 c). Set aside
Bring 2 cups of milk and 3 T sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Meanwhile, pulse the cornstarch and salt in the food processor. Remove from bowl (pouring onto a small piece of parchment paper works well). Put egg yolks and 3 T sugar in bowl and blend for 1 minute. Add the remaining cup of milk and pulse to mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the cornstarch and salt, and pulse a few times to blend. With the machine running, very slowly pour in the hot milk (doing it slowly will prevent the eggs from scrambling for the sudden heat). Pulse a few seconds and pour back into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to close to a boil (large quarter size bubbles should barely break the surface---kinda like the stinky swamp place in the Princess Bride), stirring constantly. Once it begins to boil and thicken, cook for one more minute, lowering heat if necessary to prevent a fast boil from occurring (and scorching the pudding). Remove from heat. Either 1) stir in butter and vanilla or 2) scrape pudding back into the food processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the butter and vanilla and pulse until everything is blended.
Pour the pudding into the cups. Allow to cool (however cool you like your pudding. I personally love warm pudding). If saving for later, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. To serve cold, refrigerate at least 4 hours.