Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hasty Pudding

Although my dad claims not to be a custard man ("Because of the texture"), for some reason this does not apply to pudding, of which he is a big fan. Every once in awhile my mom would make Jello-o Cook and Serve pudding, and my favorite part was always the skin. That's right, pudding skin. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. You know that gelatinous, thicker top layer of pudding that forms as it cools in the refrigerator. That jiggly piece that clings to the very first spoonful. Guilty pleasure to the extreme.

If you've only ever eaten Snack Packs, you have no idea what I'm talking about and, sadly, have no idea what you're missing. But chocolate pudding, or any flavor of pudding for that matter, is ridiculously easy to make and you'll never go back to snack packs again. If you're totally grossed out by this pudding skin thing and absolutely MUST, then be sure to cover the puddings with plastic wrap before putting them in the fridge. Or just go ahead and eat it warm. With a spoon. From the pan. It's that good. Take that, Snack Pack.

So what do you think? Pudding skin; gross or delish? Also, this recipe is from my fave old standby cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens.

BH&G Chocolate Pudding
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 2/3 cup milk
4 beaten egg yolks
1 Tbs butter or margarine
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Stir in the milk. Cook and stir mixture over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

2. Gradually stir 1 cup of milk mixture into egg yolks. Add egg mixture back to milk mixture in pan. Bring milk mixture to a gentle boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.

3. Remove pan from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Pour pudding into a bowl. If you absolutely must, cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. Serve warm or cold (do not stir during chilling).

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