Tag Archives: pudding

Vanilla Bean Pudding

3 Dec

To compliment my chocolate pudding, I decided to attempt a vanilla pudding recipe.  I used the same basic ingredients in the same basic formula, but I did reduce the amount of milk, since there was less dry ingredient than the chocolate recipe.

This recipe uses a vanilla bean, mostly because I found them at Costco and I’ve been looking for an excuse to use them.  But I know you could use vanilla extract (next time I’ll try it and let you know how much).  It lent a really nice fresh vanilla flavor, plus the pretty vanilla bean specks!

So here’s the basic recipe:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped

Again, the steps are simple (sorry, I didn’t take photos!):

  1. Stir together the dry ingredients in a pan.
  2. Add the milk and stir together.  This is also when you add the vanilla scrapings and the halves of the bean.
  3. Turn on the heat to medium.
  4. Stir, stir, stir.
  5. Repeat #4.
  6. Let the mixture come to a boil and let the cornstarch thicken up the whole thing.
  7. Remove the vanilla bean halves before you turn off the heat and transfer the whole thing to a bowl for cooling!

This has a nice fresh vanilla flavor and is not too sweet (just perfect!).  I didn’t even take a photo of the finished product, because to be honest it’s vanilla pudding, so it’s not terribly appetizing in a photo.  I think I’m going to find an excuse to make my grandmother’s zuppa inglese (an Italian dessert similar to a tiramisu, which involves layering ladyfingers with chocolate and vanilla pudding – and those of you who know Italian, please don’t ask…  I don’t have the faintest idea why a pudding dessert is called English soup!), and use the fresh pudding!

You could also make a fresh carmel sauce to drizzle over it…  It’s killer!


Chocolate Pudding that Puts Jello to Shame

27 Nov

Soooo…  This is the first in a slew of cooking-related topics I’m planning to post.  I’ve been cooking a lot – but not a huge amount – but the real reason I’ve got so many posts coming about cooking is that I’ve been sort of saving them up.  Not really on purpose, just because I’ve been busy. So I’ve taken photos and all, just not written up what I did.   But I am going to change that…  Starting with the most recent endeavor first.  Enjoy!

Earlier this week my sister and I made a box of Organic pudding from Henry’s.  It was the kind you cook to thicken, and had a nice not-too-sweet flavor.  Sort of fresh.  I looked at the ingredients: sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, salt.  That’s it.  No unpronounceables.  No additives.  No colorings.

And I thought, “I can do that.”

Now I’ll tell you it actually took some doing to find a recipe online.  Apparently, like ice cream, most people use eggs in their pudding.  Now I’m not a fan of eggs in ice cream, so I didn’t even want to mess around with eggs in my pudding.  Plus, I knew it could be done without them.  I finally found this recipe but I can never leave well enough alone.  I had to tweak it.

Yeah I know – why tweak something you’ve never made?  I wanted a dark chocolate flavor and so I figured I’d play around with the cocoa.  The nice thing is that since there was no egg in the recipe it was really no big deal to taste it before cooking – no salmonella to worry about, Mom! – and I could make sure I liked it right from the start.

I used:

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

First, you stir the dry ingredients together in a saucepan (you could also package this up and make a pretty little mix…  Especially if you make yourself some vanilla sugar…  Hmmm…).

Mix together dry ingredients

Then, add the milk and vanilla and stir in.  The milk foams a bit.  Turn on the heat, to medium.

Stir in the milk and vanilla

Stir vigorously.  Keep stirring.  Stir some more.

Keep stirring!!!

Finally the stuff will start to boil.  And – poof! – the cornstarch does its magic.  Test the mixture by sticking a metal spoon into it.  If it’s nice and thick, it’ll coat the spoon. 

Operation Coat the Spoon: complete!

Turn off the heat and pour into a pretty bowl (or pretty individual bowls).  Cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t get a skin and cool in the fridge for 4 hours before serving.

Don't forget the plastic wrap!


Dear Autofocus: Can you please stop screwing with me? This is SO much prettier than it looks in the photo! Kthxbye!


I’ve been trying really hard to stop relying on boxed mixes – no more boxed cornbread or biscuits, cookies, pancakes, potatoes, or pastas are made in my house (okay, made by me in my house – we do have them around in case hubby is making dinner).  Now I’m so excited we can go boxless for pudding!  Okay, we don’t eat much pudding… But it’s so much fun to say I can, and tastes SO much better.  Seriously, it’s worth the extra five minutes and dirtying a pan, versus the instant Jello!  Now, what can I try unboxing next?

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