Pudding for me and many I know of has always been one of several Comfort Foods. It is something I enjoy making as a special treat for my hubby who especially loves Pudding ... Dark Chocolate with Whipped Cream in particular.

Since teaching myself how to cook, I have always loved cooking because not only is it a creative process...  but the act of preparing food for those I care about is one of the ways I express my love. If you like to do so too ... perhaps you'd consider some of these Recipes as Gift Ideas for someone in need of Comfort Food.

Now that I am 60 and more Health Conscious regarding what I cook and serve, I don't prepare such Rich and Decadent Desserts such as the ones below as often as I would like to ... which makes them taste even better when I do.

If you've never made Pudding outside of the box... you might want to begin with some of these... and have a young person or two join in with the cooking process.  After tasting what you make together, not only will you have created a delightful memory, but they will thank you I am sure:

    Dark Chocolate Pudding in a Cloud
    • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
    • 2 Tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder
    • Pinch Salt
    •  2 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream
    •  1 1/4 Cups Whole Milk
    • 6 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate, Finely Chopped or Coarsely Grated, plus more for Garnish
    • 1 Teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
    • 2 Tablespoons Cold Salted Butter, Cut into Small Pieces
    Pudding: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, dark cocoa power and salt. Combine the heavy cream and milk in a large measuring cup. Whisk 1 cup of the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients to combine. Add the remaining liquid and place the saucepan over medium heat with diffuser to keep from scorching if necessary. Cook, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add chopped chocolate and cook, whisking until chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter.Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.

    Cloud: Whip together until thick, (but no too thick) one to two Large Containers of Heavy Whipping Cream, 1/2 - 3/4 Cup Sugar, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract and spread it onto the bottom of a Clear Glass Bowl, pour cooled pudding on top, leaving an edge of the whipped cream showing around the sides.  Put a Large Dollop of Whipped Cream in the Center. Lightly dust the grated chocolate over the whipped cream to garnish. Keep the Grated Chocolate cool and use a small screen strainer to dust if you prefer. To make it even fancier... pipe the Whipped cream edges.

    Don't be afraid to use your imagination and expand on these creations with your own taste buds... for example it's OK to add a little more or less sugar or chocolate to taste too.
      Old Fashion Chocolate (or
      Chocolate Malt) Pudding with or without Cake and Ice Cream
      • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
      • 3 Squares (3 ounces) unsweetened chocolate grated or finely chopped OR 1/2 cup cocoa 
      • 3 tablespoons corn starch 
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 3 cups milk
      • 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
      • 1 tablespoon butter
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

      If you are using cocoa start by whisking the (White Chocolate Cocoa) cocoa, sugar, corn starch, salt, and milk in a large saucepan. Whisk and keep stirring and until dissolved. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat with diffuser to prevent scorching if necessary, until the mixture starts to thicken and boil. Boil one minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Remove about half of the milk mixture to cool a little. Whisk three eggs then gradually add the milk mixture to the eggs one tablespoon at a time, stirring while doing so. When this is complete slowly pour all of the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot liquid. Stir both together thoroughly. Put the saucepan back on the heat. While stirring constantly bring the mixture to a slow boil, then boil mixture for one more minute. Remove the pan from the heat again and stir in the vanilla and the butter.

      If you are using chocolate squares cook as above until: you remove the pan from the heat to stir in the vanilla and butter. At this time also add the grated chocolate squares. Stir until the butter and chocolate are melted and thoroughly mixed in ... if your concerned about it needing to cook a bit longer, go ahead and do so just for a minute or two... but do not add the Vanilla until it is off the burner, at it will evaporate if boiled and loose some of its' flavor... which is vital even for a Chocolate Recipe.

      Option:  Stir 4 Tablespoons of Malted Milk into 3 Cups of Chocolate milk and use this in place of the 3 Cups of White Milk above.

      Pour into a bowl or individual dessert dishes, serve warm or cold, with or without whipped cream and a Cherry. Do not add whipped cream until cooled or it will melt.  I prefer homemade whipped cream see Cloud Recipe above.

      Fabulous hot over a piece of warm Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. Try cutting out the Center of the Cake adding the pudding into the hole, then top this with the Ice Cream then top the Ice Cream with the Cake which is crumbled/broken into bite size pieces and pour a little more Pudding on top of that. Add a dash of warmed Marshmallow Cream with a Cherry if you are daring.  Chocolate Fudge Brownies will work too.


      Simple Thick and Creamy Vanilla (or Coconut) Pudding
      • 2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
      • 6 Tablespoons. Cornstarch 
      • Pinch of Salt
      • 5 Cups Whole milk
      • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
      • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
      In a medium saucepan whisk together the Sugar, Cornstarch, and Salt then slowly whisk in Milk. Place over over medium heat with a diffuser to keep from scorching if necessary. Continually stir with a wooden spoon until the pudding thickens, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add Butter and Vanilla. Let cool a bit and eat warm or refrigerate until cold. Pudding will thicken as it cools. OR Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap being sure the wrap touches the top surface of the pudding and seals it off from the air to prevent a "skin." from forming.  My hubby loves the skin... and so do I so I usually pour this into individual dessert dishes, so we can have this as a snack later when we are not having company.

      Option:  Add sweetened Coconut to Taste... about 1/2 Cup



      Rich Butterscotch Pudding
      • 2 1/4 cups milk
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 6 tablespoons salted butter
      • 1 1/4 cups light or dark brown sugar, packed
      • 3 egg yolks
      • 1/4 cup cornstarch
      • pinch of salt 
      • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
      In a large saucepan, combine the milk and cream, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (To prevent scorching, I use a flame diffuser.) Immediately turn off the heat and set aside. In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly, to caramelize the mixture. You will smell a caramel  fragrance as the butter browns when the mixture is ready. Gradually whisk the butter/brown sugar mixture into the hot liquid. In a medium bowl whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks ... this will cool the mixture enough to whisk in the cornstarch and salt until dissolved. Whisk this mixture into the hot milk mixture in the saucepan.  Whisking constantly, cook over medium-high heat until thick and just boiling. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.  Eat warm when set or cool 2 hours in frig. When I am feeling particularly indulgent, once cooled I like to alternate this with whipped cream in clear parfait glasses.

      Luxurious Banana Pudding (or Pudding over Cake):

      4 Tablespoons of Corn Starch
      1 Cup Granulated Sugar
      2 Cans of Evaporated Milk - Room Temperature.
      2 Large Eggs, beaten
      2/ 1/2 Medium-sized Ripe Bananas mashed (or 3 Bananas' frozen in Skin, defrosted, peelings discarded).
      1/2 thinly sliced Banana for garnish (or 1 thinly sliced Banana for garnish)

      In a 2 quart or Larger Sauce Pan blend Corn Starch and Sugar. Add 1 Can of Evaporated Milk. Whisk together until dissolved. Place pan on medium heat (with diffuser if needed to avoid scorching) and bring to a gentle boil. During heating process stir to prevent sticking to bottom of pan and scorching. As mixture starts to thicken slowly add second 1/2 Can of Evaporated Milk and mix thoroughly and continue to heat. Mix the beaten eggs to the second half of the can of Evaporated Milk, mix thoroughly. When mixture in pan starts to thicken again, slowly stir in egg milk mixture. Stir the mashed bananas into the mixture. Continue heating until desired thickness is reached. Pour into a bowl  to cool or over cut up cake, preferably Pound Cake ... or a Sheet Cake which has holes poked into it while it is still hot. Use the sliced bananas to garnish the top in a decorative manner.  Don't forget Chocolate and Banana's go well together... so try Chocolate Cake if that would tickle your fancy.  Let yourself explore the possibilities...

      Moist and Creamy Rice Pudding: (Greek Style)
      • 1-2 Quart Milk
      • 1/2-1 Cup Rice
      • 1/2-1 Cup Granulated Sugar
      • Pinch of Salt
      • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
      • 1/2-1 Cup Evaporated Milk or Cream (depending upon the moisture content you desire)
      • Few Grinds of Fresh Nutmeg (or Cinnamon if you prefer) to taste. 
      Note: Nutmeg has a strong flavor so you don't need as much as you do if you prefer Cinnamon.
        Preheat Oven to 325.  In a large Mixing Bowl combine Milk, Rice, Salt and Vanilla. Pour into a 
        Buttered 9x12 or Larger Baking Dish. Bake half hour or until rice is soft and milk is absorbed.  Whisk Nutmeg into Evaporated Milk and stir mixture into the Baked Rice Pudding stirring together until it reaches the consistency you desire... should be warm enough to eat, but if you prefer, bake it another 5 minutes or so... especially if you've added too much liquid.  My Greek Grandfather use to make Rice Pudding like this for his Restaurant back in the 1950-60's and everyone loved it because it was so moist and creamy.    Sometimes he added Raisins.

        Most of the Recipes above can also be used as a Pie Filling. 


        ~~ The Resource Links added here are predominately for the benefit of those who are new or adventurous cooks ... some of these items can be found in your local Grocer, Discount or WalMart type of store for those who want to be frugal. ~~


        Enjoy! 




        This entry was posted on 12:43 AM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

        2 comments:

        On 3:41 AM , Joyful said...

        Somehow I missed your new post! The recipes look great and I'm gonna have to give them a try :-)

         
        On 11:34 AM , bren said...

        Hi Penny... good to see you've become a follower, thanks! Let us know what you think when you're done. Enjoy!