Category Archives: Pudding

Chocolate Mug Cake

Have you ever been home by yourself and get a hankering for dessert?  Maybe something chocolatey?  You think “maybe some pudding, or a piece of chocolate cake?  But, no, you tell yourself you can’t make a whole dessert:  there’s all those ingredients, all the time to measure, mix and bake and whats more ~ the leftovers!

What if you could make a warm, chocolatey dessert made just for one?  Do you have a coffee mug?  Got some basic baking ingredients in the house?  Got a couple of minutes?  Then you’ve got a fudgey, chocolate mug cake!  You don’t even have to choose between cake and pudding when in less than 2 minutes, you could have both in the same hot dessert.

In 1 coffee mug, measure and whisk or stir together:
3 Tabl. Half and Half (or Whole Milk)
3 Tabl. Vegetable Oil
1 Egg
dash of Vanilla Extract
Whisk in:
4 Tabl. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Instant Coffee (optional, but it enhances the flavor of the chocolate)
Whisk in:
4 Tabl. Cake Flour
2 Tabl. Cocoa Powder
pinch of Baking Powder
pinch of Salt
Drop in:
1-2 Tabl. Chocolate Chips

Place the mug in your microwave.  Microwave on high for 1 minute*.  Remove from heat and stir from bottom up, just enough to mix up ingredients stuck on top.  Place back in microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove from microwave, cool for a few minutes and enjoy your own personal dessert!



* Microwave ovens cook differently.  Your microwave may cook faster than mine and cook in only 1 minute, or may need a few seconds longer than 1-1/2 minutes.  What is important to remember is:  you want some liquid in the bottom.  Be careful not to over-bake or you’ll have a very solid, dry cake. 


Butterscotch Pudding

Many people don’t bother to make homemade pudding any more, what with instant pudding and cook and serve puddings readily available on the market shelves.  The thing is, pudding is one of those things which can be just as easily made “from scratch” as with a mix.  With Butterscotch Pudding, you’ll notice a difference in color with homemade, as the store-bought mixes have the additions of artificial colors to make it more pleasing to the eye.

Chef and dessert cookbook author, David Lebovitz has an AMAZING recipe for Butterscotch Pudding and I just had to try it.  If the addition of the whiskey is offensive to you, eliminate it, but I will tell you it adds greatly to the taste.  I will say, the only “issue” I have with this pudding is the texture, which is a bit grainy, even after repeated attempts to make it.  But, the texture wasn’t enough to stop me from saying this is a “must try”.

This pudding is very easy and quick to make and is absolutely delicious, especially served warm!  Serves 6.

In a medium sized pan, melt:
4 Tabl. Butter (brown slightly for richer flavor)
Whisk into the melted butter:
1 cup packed Dark Brown Sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Whisk into the pan:
2 cups whole Milk
Combine in small bowl:
1/2 cup Whole Milk
2 large Eggs
3 Tabl. Cornstarch

When the milk is hot, stir a small amount into the egg mixture, whisking so it does not curdle.  Add the egg mixture back into the pan (this is called tempering and helps to adjust the eggs to the heat so they won’t curdle).  Continue to cook until the pudding comes to a boil and thickens.  Continue to cook for 2 minutes after the boil.



Remove the pan from the heat and stir in:
2 tsp. Whiskey
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Pour the pudding into 6 small serving bowls, or one larger bowl.  If you like the “skin” that forms on top allow to cool as it, but if you don’t, press a piece of plastic wrap down on top of the pudding.  Allow to cool on the counter for a bit, then place in the refrigerator. 

Better than….Dessert

Better Than or Almost as Good as ….   With this dessert, you can fill in the blank.

This recipe has been around in many different variations for years and no one really knows who started it.  Whoever they are, they are genius!  As a pastry chef who has worked with some amazing ingredients and made some pretty “WOW” desserts, I tell you this simple dessert may be my favorite (does that ruin my credibility?)!

You may say, “it’s not very sophisticated”, and, admittedly, it’s not – but the combination of the crunchy and creamy, sweet and salty makes it better than…almost anything!  The only baking required is 15 minutes for the crust and it’s worth heating up your kitchen.  The cold, creamy layers of goodness makes it perfect for a summer dessert even on the hottest of days.

Combine in a bowl:
2/3 cup AP Flour
2/3 cup Pecans, chopped
1/3 cup Butter, melted
Press in the bottom of 6″x10″  or 9″x9″pan.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Cool completely.
Cream in a bowl with the paddle attachment:
8 oz. pkg. Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1 cup Cool Whip, thawed
Spread the cool whip mixture onto the cooled crust.  Refrigerate for  15 minutes.
Prepare the pudding by whisking together:
1-1/2 cups milk
1 box (3.9 ounce size) Instant Chocolate Pudding
Spread the pudding on top of Cool Whip layer.  Refrigerate until set.
Spread the pudding layer with 1 cup of Cool Whip, thawed.  Sprinkle top with chopped pecans.  Refrigerate and allow to set for several hours before cutting and serving.


Creme Caramel

It’s hard to think of writing a blog when you have a “delicious” new grand baby on your mind. But…his mommy loves this dessert, so there was a special reason to make it yesterday.

Creme Caramel/Flan is a creamy baked custard that is accentuated by a caramel syrup.  It is quick and easy to put together, bakes up perfectly every time, and is not a heavy dessert – perfect for Spring!

This recipe comes from the amazing folks at America’s Test Kitchen and makes enough for 8 ramekins.

Prepare 8 ramekins by placing them on a piece of paper towel inside a larger baking dish.

Combine in a small pot:
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Water

Cover the pan and bring to a boil.  Remove the cover and continue to cook until a candy thermometer reaches 350 degrees – I found that there is NOT enough syrup (depth) to accurately monitor and reach the correct temperature, so I recommend keeping a close watch on the pan and look for golden brown color.  BE VERY CAREFUL to not over-brown because hot sugar goes from light brown to burned very fast!    (I did not let mine get brown enough out of fear it was burning – but it was delicious anyway!)


Pour the syrup into the ramekins.  Allow the syrup to set for 15 minutes.

In a pan, heat to steaming:
3 cups Half and Half
In a large bowl, whisk:
3 Eggs
2 Egg Yolks
2/3 cup Sugar
dash Salt

When the half and half is steaming, slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.

Stir in:
1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Strain the custard into a large measuring cup or pitcher.  Pour into ramekins.  Pour boiling water 1/2 way up the sides of the ramekin.  Cover with foil.  Bake in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.  Test for doneness by inserting a knife in the center.  Knife should come out clean when removed.    Remove the custards from the hot water bath (use tongs) and place on a rack.  Allow the custards to cool for 1-1/2 hours.

To remove, run a knife around the sides of the ramekin.  Place a plate on top and invert the plate.  Lift the ramekin to remove the custard and caramel.  Cover ramekins with plastic wrap to refrigerate.

Creamy Rice Pudding

I developed this recipe when my mom was still living to give her a comforting, easy to digest food when she wasn’t feeling well.  I thought at the time that rice pudding was an “older persons” dessert choice BUT THEN…after recipe developing for some time, I decided to add lemon zest.  And whoila! the best tasting, creamiest rice pudding anyone  – of any age  – would be happy to call a special dessert!  Best of all, it uses leftover rice in a delicious “company” dessert.  This recipe makes 4 servings.

In a saucepan, bring to a boil:
1-3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Tabl. Butter

Whisk together:
1 cup Whole Milk
2 Egg Yolks
2 Tabl. Sugar
2 Tabl. Cornstarch

Drizzle a small amount of the boiling milk into the above and whisk to keep it from curdling (This is called “tempering”) Then, add the entire bowl of milk and eggs, back into the hot milk, whisking constantly to avoid curdling and sticking.  Bring back to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. (As it cools it will thicken slightly.)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Place plastic wrap down on custard to prevent skin from forming.  Allow to cool completely over an ice bath (another bowl with ice water to surround).

When above custard is cool, add:
1-1/2 cups COLD cooked rice
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Lemon Zest

Portion out into dessert cups.  Sprinkle each with just a touch of nutmeg.

The Show-stopping Trifle!

Wouldn’t you love to make a fabulous tasting and gorgeous dessert for Christmas dinner?  What if I told you that gorgeous dessert was easy and quick to make and doesn’t require any specific cake decorating skills – would you be interested?  The answer is, a trifle!

A trifle is a dessert that typically consists of cake (optional: cake is brushed with sherry, rum, or brandy) and topped with alternating layers of jam or fruit, custard or pudding, and whipped cream.

To make a trifle you choose the flavor of cake, custard or pudding, fruit or jam and any garnishes your heart desires.  Of course, I make my own cake and pudding but you certainly could purchase pre-made (check out the recipe index!).  A Trifle is out of the ordinary, beautiful and best of all, there is NO WAY you can go wrong!!

Let me give you a couple of suggestions for this show-stopping dessert for your Christmas table:
1)    Start out with the most beautiful glass trifle bowl or vessel you have.
2)    Choose complimentary flavors
3)    “Build” your trifle into beautiful layers 
Here’s how to build a Trifle:
1)  Cut your favorite flavor cake into about 1-1/2″ chunks.
2)  Place the cake pieces into the bottom of a decorative bowl.
3)  Brush the cake thoroughly with liquor of your choice or fruit juice or simple syrup*
4)  Spread the custard/pudding to edges to cover the cake by approx. 1″
5)  Spread or pipe whipped cream on top of previous layer
6)  Spread jam or fruit over whipped cream
7) Repeat as above ending with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, or fruit.

(*simple syrup – Bring to a boil equal amounts of sugar and water. Boil 2 minutes, cool.  Use simple syrup to brush on cake.)

Some of my favorites include:
1)    Chocolate cake (optionally brushed with Kirsch) with custard or chocolate pudding – using cherries and whipped cream.
2)    Lemon cake with lemon curd, fresh raspberries and whipped cream.
3)    Vanilla cake (optionally brushed with brandy) with strawberry jam, custard fresh strawberries and whipped cream. 
The flavor combinations are unending and the resulting fabulous dessert will be talked about for years to come!

Creme Brulee

Top in popularity of restaurant desserts is the Creme Brulee.  A perfect Creme Brulee, is smooth and creamy with a crisp top.  The excitement comes in breaking the caramelized top and scooping through the creamy custard.  Most people have never attempted to make this dessert at home, and thus, reserve it for formal occasions at a restaurant.

This luscious dessert is so easy – no need to be intimidated.  Once you make it for your family, you’ll want to make it for guests.

Combine in a saucepan and heat slowly to bring to a boil:
4 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 Vanilla Bean, scraped or 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tabl. Sugar
Combine in a bowl and whisk:
5 Egg Yolks
2 Tabl. Sugar

When the cream comes to a boil, slowly drizzle about 1/4 of the hot cream into the eggs, whisking to incorporate.  Add the eggs slowly back into the cream.  (This is called “tempering”).  Turn the heat down (not off).

Switch your whisk for a wooden spoon.  Now, heat and stir this mixture until it coats the back of the wooden spoon (you can draw your finger through the cream on the spoon and it will “part”) – this is called “Nappe” stage.  When the mixture is nappe, strain into a container with pourable spout (I use my pyrex 4 cup measure).

Place the ramekins in a deep dish pan.  After straining, pour the liquid custard into ramekins. Pour hot water around the ramekins to 1/2 way around the ramekins. Bake in 325 degree oven for 45 minutes or until set.

Cool, remove from water bath.  Refrigerate overnight.

One half hour before serving, remove custard from the refrigerator.  After 30 minutes, sprinkle each custard with 1 Tabl. sugar and torch to caramelize.  If you do not have a small torch, place under pre-heated broiler just long enough to caramelize.  (BE CARFUL NOT TO HEAT TOO MUCH)  Allow to rest a few minutes after caramelizing before serving.

Chocolate Pudding for Two

Now that it is just my husband and I at home, it isn’t reasonable to make an entire cake or pie for 2 people.  Still, once in a while, we “need” a treat.  This homemade chocolate pudding is rich and delicious ~ and just enough for 2 people!

In a bowl combine:
2 Tabl. Cornstarch
4 Tabl. Cocoa Powder
1/3 cup Sugar
In a saucepan, place:
1 ½ cups Milk, whole

Whisk the dry ingredients into the milk.

Cook, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil and is thickened.

Remove from heat and add:
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli)
2 drops of Vanilla Extract

Pour pudding into 2 individual dessert bowls.  Cover each bowl with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly on top of pudding (this will keep it from getting a “skin” on top).   Cool, refrigerate until serving. Top with whipped cream if desired.

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