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FEBRUARY 2000
RECIPES


Sensational Toffee

Hermit Cookies

Sweethearts' Chocolate Cake

Chocolate-Vanilla Pudding



Sweet Spot

 


Chocolate-Vanilla Pudding

Tips: Cornstarch pudding is a very basic dessert. Here, chocolate and vanilla are combined for contrast of color and taste. You'll need four wineglasses, each of seven-ounce capacity. I divide the vanilla pudding evenly between wineglasses, then let stand or chill briefly while I make the chocolate pudding, which can then be spooned or gently poured directly on top to make a second layer. If you don't like a "skin" on your pudding, place a piece of plastic wrap (pierced several times) directly on top of the chocolate pudding before chilling. These are best within 24 hours of making.

As with any recipe involving cornstarch, it is extremely important not to overheat or overbeat either mixture, once liquid has been added. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until pudding boils; boil and stir (do not beat) one minute, then remove from heat. Gently stir in butter (if used) and vanilla. I always strain these puddings for maximum smoothness. Note that the chocolate pudding seems more subject to lumping, so I stir it with a small whisk.

Vanilla:

  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk, from an egg graded "large"
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup light cream OR half and half
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into bits, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Chocolate:
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. sifted or strained unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg yolk, from an egg graded "large"
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup light cream OR half and half
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Optional garnish:
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Shaved or grated semisweet chocolate

For Vanilla Pudding: In one quart, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix thoroughly with spoon, pressing out any lumps with back of spoon. In small cup, combine egg yolk and 2 Tbsp. milk; with fork, beat well to combine. Off heat, add to cornstarch mixture; stir to mix thoroughly, pressing out as many lumps as possible. Heat remaining milk and cream until very hot, then gradually add hot liquid to cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly.

Place pot over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil (Just before boiling, the mixture will lump and look terrible. As it boils, if you keep stirring, it should thicken and smooth out.) Boil and stir one minute. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Let stand for a minute, then stir gently to mix. Strain through fine strainer into heatproof container of at least 1-1/2 cup capacity (you can use the same strainer for the chocolate pudding--don't bother washing it). Divide evenly among wineglasses. Let stand at room temperature or chill while preparing chocolate pudding.

For Chocolate Pudding: In one quart, heavy bottomed, nonreactive pot, combine sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. With small whisk, mix thoroughly to combine, getting out as many lumps as possible. In small cup, combine egg yolk and 2 Tbsp. milk; with fork, beat well to combine. Off heat, add to cornstarch mixture; stir in well with whisk (mixture will be thick). Heat remaining milk and cream until very hot, then gradually add hot liquid to cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly with whisk.

Place pot over medium heat. Follow above directions for stirring constantly and boiling pudding, then remove from heat. Add vanilla; stir in gently. Strain through fine strainer into heatproof container of at least 1-1/2 cup capacity (this will be a much thicker pudding than the vanilla--OK). Spoon or gently pour chocolate pudding on top of vanilla pudding, dividing evenly among wineglasses.

Chill pudding until set, at least two hours. Eat within 24 hours of making. If desired, garnish with lightly sweetened whipped cream and shaved semisweet chocolate just before serving.

4 servings


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