Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Pudding

You've Made Me So Very Happy by Blood, Sweat & Tears
"I love you so much, you see.  You're even in my dreams.  I can hear you, I can hear you calling' me.  I'm so in love with you!"  Who doesn't think these words when they're eating pudding?  Nobody I want to know, that's for sure!  It can be any kind of pudding - vanilla, tapioca, pistachio, butterscotch - it doesn't matter - but if chocolate is around, well, you know who's gonna be all over that!  Several people have recorded this song since being written and recorded by Brenda Holloway in the 60's.  But Blood, Sweat & Tears' version is the one I like best.  You know, there's just something about trumpets that really grab a girl's heart.  I'm serious!  I was in band in high school and, you see, there was this guy in the trumpet section . . . 

So I'm in the process of making over 100 little Parisian Macarons for my friend's wedding reception.  You remember Erin?  Yep, this is her wedding week!  Yay for Erin!

Well, when you make the french version of macarons, you are left with TONS of egg yolks.  Ok - I've got more like 28 on hand as we speak but it felt like a ton when I was separating them from their highfalutin' whites.  So with all these yolks hanging around I'm thinking that all sorts of good things are about to come our way.  Today, the goodness is coming in the form of pudding!  Chocolate Pudding!

I do use pudding mixes (gasp!) at times.  And I can be happy with them.  But, oh baby, there's nothing like homemade pudding!  Nothing coats the tongue quite like it.  Every time I make it I wonder why I don't do it more often.  Why do I even have those mixes in the pantry?

Here's the point.  Making pudding from scratch doesn't take that much time.  From the moment I decided that that's what I was going to make, I had it made and was pouring the velvety darkness into the serving dishes 15 minutes later!  Fifteen minutes!  That's not that much longer than whipping up a mix!

So go ahead and show a little love for yourself and your family today and make some pudding.  A helpful tip for you - when you're slowly, slowly stirring the hot chocolatey milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture, and having to whisk continuously - you're minus one hand to steady the bowl.  If you don't have a rubber-based bowl like this one
then simply dampen a washcloth or towel and form a little "bowl" in which to rest the bowl containing the yolk mixture.  
It will act like a hand and keep the bowl from moving around while you're slowly, slowly whisking in the hot mixture!

I'm curious as to how many other pudding lovers are out there.  Write in and tell me what your favorite pudding is - and maybe come up with a flavor combo for which you'd like me create a recipe!  That could be fun!  I love a challenge!  It's something to think about while I'm busily going nowhere on the elliptical or treadmill!  Leave your comments and ideas in the comment section or email me at

Chocolate Pudding
2 c. whole milk
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa powder
4 t. cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 t. vanilla extract
2 t. Torani coffee-flavored syrup
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. whipping cream
1 T. sugar

Put 1/2 c. of the milk, cornstarch, yolks, vanilla extract, coffee-flavored syrup, and salt in a bowl with a sturdy base.  Mix and set aside.

Put the remaining 1 1/2 c. milk, 3/4 c. sugar, and the cocoa powder in a saucepan.  Stir and bring to just a simmer over medium-high heat.

Very slowly, whisk the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly.  You are slowly bringing up the temperature of the yolks and this is called "tempering."  If you add it too fast you will curdle the yolks, giving you lumps.  I think it's impossible to add it too slow, though, so easy does it!  As the temperature of the yolks equals the temperature of the milk, you can add the hot mixture more quickly.  

Return the mixture to the saucepan and, over medium-high heat, whisk constantly until it comes to a full boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to whisk for 2 - 3 more minutes until it becomes thick and velvety.  Pour into serving dishes and cover the bowls with plastic wrap, being sure to press the wrap flat against the surface of the pudding so a skin doesn't form.  Chill.

To serve:  Whip the cream with the sugar until peaks form and add a dollop or two to the top of your pudding!


  1. I looooooooove butterscotch pudding. And there's a vanilla pudding recipe in my better homes and gardens book that is so rich. Yum.

  2. We should put our heads together and come up with some creative favor combos for puddings!