Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping



Oh….my….gosh. I never thought I’d be one to say this, but I’m ready for Winter to be over. Normally, I love Winter. I have said before that I love the coziness, the enforced couch potato-ness because you can’t go outside. But, right now, here… in Kentucky, we have an expected low of -14 for tomorrow with a high, a HIGH, of 6. Hello? God? This is Kentucky. I just wanted to throw that out there in case You’d forgotten. Thank you.

The last few days we’ve had all of our outside cats penned up in the garage to keep them safe from the cold. The garage now smells like the elephant cage at the zoo… after it hasn’t been cleaned for three months. FYI… it is impossible to keep a garage clean with five male cats locked up in it *shudders* We have ONE cat we haven’t been able to catch and I have been worrying myself silly over her. She was dumped here at some point (people just love to dump their unwanted animals in the country) and is almost completely feral now. She comes out to get food and water and pals around with one of my male cats (who is in the garage) but won’t come near us, so I couldn’t get her into the garage. So what have I been doing? Shoveling fourteen times a day to make paths to the porch for her, setting out food and water bowls in strategic places, changing the water bowls every time they freeze (like once an hour) and fretting myself into a nervous breakdown over her safety.

Lately I have been all about the creamy foods. I know, I know… I can hear some of you out there saying, “how is this different from every other day for you, Janet?”. But it is. Yes, I absolutely love my creamy foods, I completely admit that little fact. πŸ˜€ But recently, I’ve been craving things like rice pudding, meats with creamy sauces, and puddings like this one. I like to tell myself that it’s an attempt by my prehistoric brain cells to add a layer of fat to my body to keep warm. The problem being that if I add another layer of fat, I’ll have to turn sideways to get my hips through the doorways.

This pudding is oh so good. Very chocolatey, but not overly sweet, being as it’s a dark chocolate flavor. It definitely hits that “I need something creamy and chocolate” spot. And the topping I made? Oh, my. There was some left over after I topped the puddings and I may or may not have stood over the sink eating the rest of it plain. It’s creamy, yet surprisingly light and not too sweet or too over the top cocoa flavored at all; the perfect foil for this pudding This is originally from The Food Network, with the topping being mine and the addition of the Kahlua being mine.

You know the drill…

Mrs. Cupcake; who is sick of shoveling snow.

Dark Chocolate Pudding With A Creamy Cocoa Mascarpone Topping

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua Liqueur
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) semi sweet chocolate, chopped
  • Topping-
  • 4 ounces Mascarpone, room temp
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  1. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. I just shake it through a fine mesh strainer. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk it, forming a thick paste. Whisk the beaten egg yolks into the mixture.
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepot, combine the remaining milk and the cream. Bring them to just barely a boil, then take off the heat. Slowly pour about half a cup of the hot milk over the cocoa mixture to temper the egg yolks. Then slowly whisk in the rest of the milk/cream.
  3. Β Pour the pudding back into the pot you used for the milk. Whisk in the vanilla and the Kahlua. Cook over not quite medium heat, stirring constantly (a wooden spoon or silicone spatula works best), making sure to get to the edges of the pan. When the mixture starts to thicken up, about 5 minutes or so, remove from the heat. You want this to almost, but not quite, come to a boil. Drop the chopped chocolate into the hot pudding, stirring until it melts.
  4. Now you have a choice. If you’re not worried about a few little lumps (I wasn’t) you can go ahead and divide this among your serving dishes now. If you want it lump free (truthfully, if you made sure to stir well while cooking, you really shouldn’t have any), you can pour this through a mesh strainer into a bowl and then put it into serving dishes. Do whichever makes you happy. This makes 4 8 ounce servings, 8 4 ounce servings, 16 2 ounce servings, 32…. sorry. I’ll stop now.
  5. Cover each dish of pudding with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, make your topping. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, cocoa and sugar. Whisk to combine well. Pour in the cream and whisk gently (so you don’t wear cream) until combined. Then, whisk more vigorously until it thickens up to firm peaks, about 4 minutes.
  7. Serve the pudding topped with the mascarpone cream and some shaved or grated chocolate.

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Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue



 

I’ve decided to become a street mime. I’m not sure how this will work in my rural area, though. The only ones who will see me “miming” (yes, that is actually a word; go figure) would be the 7 outside cats, some hawks and vultures and maybe a coyote or two if I mime at night. Do they carry cash to tip me with or would I need to carry a credit card machine with me everywhere? These are the things one must think about when contemplating a second job… or third in my case. Should I buy the typical black outfit or go the modern route and wear pink sequined leotards and a polka dotted blouse?

In case it isn’t readily apparent, I’m in what we at our house simply call, “a mood”. A mood can mean anything form “I’m having a crappy day. Come near me, talk to me or breathe in my direction and I’m liable to bite your head off” to “maybe that second beer wasn’t such a good idea on an empty stomach since now I’m waltzing around the house singing, “I’m Soooooo hurtttt” to “I’m in a very warped mood today due to far too much caffeine and am planning to become a mime”. I’ll let you guess where we’re at today.

I vacillated on this dessert so much that I probably came across like John McCain when it comes time to decide which political party to work for. First, I wanted to do lemon; then I wanted to do chocolate, then I thought maybe butterscotch, then lemon again. I finally settled on chocolate, if only to shut up all 14 of my inner voices. The arguing was getting on my nerves.

When I made the marshmallow meringue for this, it suddenly popped into my head to turn it into toasted marshmallows. They’re one of my favorite snacks, though I don’t actually have them often.

These bars are quite good, if I do say so myself. A crisp crust, topped with banana slices and a dark, sweet chocolate pudding, then followed up with a fluffy marshmallowy meringue. They’re also fairly easy. The most time consuming parts are when you have to stir the cooking pudding and then whisk the heating meringue. Don’t let the stovetop parts scare you away from this. If you can stir, you can make this dessert.

You know the drill….

Mrs. Cupcake, who needs to give her 6 year old a bath because he got marshmallow topping in his hair.

Creamy Chocolate Banana Bars With A Toasted Marshmallow Meringue

  • Crust-
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup ( a stick and a half) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate filling-
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten (hold onto the whites)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 bananas, sliced (don’t slice them until you’re ready to pour the pudding in or they will get brown)
  • Marshmallow Meringue-
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square pan with non stick foil.
  2. Prepare your crust- In a medium bowl, combine the softened 3/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla extract. Use a heavy spoon to mix them until they are smooth. Add in the flour and mix until it is a cohesive, somewhat crumbly mixture. There shouldn’t be any dry flour in the bottom of the bowl. Press the mixture onto the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake at 350 until it is golden brown around the edges, about 17 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the crust bakes, make your pudding- combine the milk, cream and chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir and if the chocolate isn’t fully melted and combined with the milk, microwave for another 30 seconds.
  4. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepot.Β  Whisk well. You don’t want any lumps of cornstarch in the mixture. Slowly add in the milk/ chocolate mix. Start slowly, then you can pour quicker once you get about 1/3 of it in there.
  5. Whisk a few spoonfuls of this into the beaten egg yolks, one spoon at a time. This is just to temper the yolks in case the milk is warm enough that it might scramble the eggs. Then pour the eggs into the milk mixture, whisking the whole time.
  6. Place the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding bubbles and thickens. Whisk in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover the top of it with plastic wrap, making sure it is touching the top of the pudding. Refrigerate and let chill until cold, at least an hour.
  7. When chilled, layer the sliced bananas over the crust. then pour the cold pudding over them. If planning to serve right away, make your marshmallow meringue. If not, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  8. Marshmallow meringue- Start a pot of water simmering. Combine the egg whites, cream of tarter and sugar in a smaller pot. Place over, but not touching, the pot of simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the egg white up until, when you place a finger in it, it is just on the verge of uncomfortable, about 115 to 120 degrees. Stir in the vanilla extract
  9. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl (you can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) and beat on low speed until it is very foamy, then turn the speed up to medium and beat until it stand in peaks that droop slightly but don’t drip off of the beater
  10. Spread the marshmallow meringue over the chocolate pudding, making decorative whorls in it. Using a kitchen torch, holding it close to the meringue, lightly brown the top of the meringue.Β  Serve immediately and refrigerate the leftovers.

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Easy Creamy Banana Pudding

Easy Creamy Banana Pudding

Easy Creamy Banana Pudding



A little bit ago (which, in the south, can mean anywhere from ten minutes to two weeks ago) I asked my facebook fans which they would prefer- Creamy Banana Pudding or Apple Spice Cake With Creamy Vanilla Sauce. While I didn’t get many comments, the apple cake won by one vote. But I still wanted to do the banana pudding, too. This is one of those desserts that I used to make all the time when my older, now grown kids, were little. It’s easy, it’s tasty and when you have three to five kids running around, you need easy. You also need copious amounts of Xanax, intensive therapy and cheap booze, but that’s a post for another time. But for some reason, it fell by the wayside. I think that sometimes I get so caught up in making new treats, making something different, that I forget that my family loves the old standards too.

This isn’t my recipe. It comes from the Eagle Brand site, although when I started using it back in the day, there WAS no Eagle brand site… there was barely an internet lol. I got it from a magazine. The only thing I do differently is to add some vanilla extract to the mixture. It just adds a little something to it. You can also do this with instant banana, French vanilla, cheesecake or white chocolate puddings. It doesn’t change it enough to make it a sacrilege πŸ˜› but it just makes it a little different.

The difference between this and the old fashioned version is technique. The old ones uses a cooked pudding base. It’s delicious but more time consuming. This one uses instant pudding that is whisked together with some other deliciously creamy ingredients and then layered. You can layer it in a large bowl or individual servings. For the sake of my waistline, I did individual servings this time. Otherwise, my mind says, “Honest Janet, this 8 inch thick layer of pudding that is practically overflowing the bowl is perfectly acceptable!”

You know the drill… get to cooking. Or not cooking in this particular case.

Creamy Banana Pudding

  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (4 serving size) package instant vanilla (or banana or cheesecake or snozzberry) pudding mix
  • 2 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 3 to 5 bananas, sliced and dipped in a mix of lemon juice and water and drained on paper towels (prevents them from turning brown)
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the water, vanilla extract and sweetened condensed milk. Add in the pudding mix and whisk until well blended.
  2. Chill for five minutes, then fold in the whipped cream.
  3. If using a large bowl, layer about one cup of the pudding in the bowl, then top with the desired amount of vanilla wafers, then about a third of the sliced bananas. Repeat this layering two more times.
  4. If doing individual servings, do the same layering, but in separate glasses. When doing individual ones, I also like to coarsely crush the cookies too because whole cookies just don’t fit well in smaller glasses.
  5. Chill for about an hour or so, then serve.

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Maple Creme Brulee For Two

Maple Creme Brulee

There are some things in life that can only be called dangerous and dangerous with good reason. Bungee jumping? Dangerous. I understand that whole adrenaline rush idea but jumping off of a 300 mile high surface into mid air connected to only a piece of frayed yarn (yeah yeah I may be exaggerating just a bit here but not much) isn’t my idea of a woohoo good time. Though I admit to a strange hankering to sky dive, which is the exact same thing, only from a moving plane this time. holding a plastic grocery bag over your hand and hoping it expands enough to keep you from becoming part of the scenery.

Race car driving? Dangerous. Again; I can see the appeal. Hell, I see people in my own town driving like bad versions of Mario Andretti and I’ve been known to have a lead foot at times when I am sure I am *ahem* not being watched she says tactfully.Β  But getting into a large chunk of metal with an engine that is about 2 inches in front of you and hoping that you can drive well enough to where said engine doesn’t end up in your lap whilst only being protected by a helmet and a body suit that is NOT made of titanium or something good like that? Yeah. Dangerous.

For me personally? Having a full bag of gummy candy near me? Dangerous. A pint of Haagen Dazs Sea Salt Caramel Gelato sitting in front of me? Dangerous. It will soon be empty and I will be smacking myself upside the head for being a glutton at the same time that I’m sticking my face down in the carton sucking up the last drips. Creme Brulee? Dangerous. Any flavor whatsoever. But this one was particularly so with my love of all things maple. Thank God that it only makes 2 servings. Because if it made more, I would have eaten more than the one I had. Creme Brulee is, contrary to what many think, an extremely easy dessert to make. It tastes like it took you all day but in reality if you can hold a whisk in your hand and separate eggs, you’re good to go. Just don’t eat this thinking it is low calorie. It’s more like enough calorie to keep you alive for say, a week. So as I always say… git to cookin’.

Maple Creme Brulee (For Two)

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (the real thing, not Mrs. Butterworth)
  • 1/4 teaspoon maple flavoring (can be found with the vanilla extract in stores)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (USE the salt… it brings out flavor)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of either maple sugar or demarara sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place 2 8 ounce ramekins or custard cups into an 8 or 9 inch square pan.
  2. In a large measuring cup (makes it easier to pour later), whisk together all the ingredients except the maple sugar. That will be your crackly topping later. Pour the liquid evenly between the two ramekins.
  3. Place the pan with the ramekins into the 300 degree oven then carefully pour very hot water into the pan to where it goes about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  4. Bake at 300 for about 45 minutes or until the top has only a slight jiggle in the very middle when you gently shake it.
  5. Take the ramekins out of the hot water so they don’t keep cooking and set them aside to cool to room temp, then place in the fridge until serving time.
  6. When ready to serve, sprinkle half the sugar onto each creme brulee and either use a kitchen torch or the broiler to caramelize the sugar. if doing it under the broiler, make sure your ramekins are broiler safe. Not all of them are.

 

Creamy Coconut Flan

Creamy Coconut Flan

No long winded story and bad jokes tonight. I’m sleepy and on a massive sugar crash from this flan. πŸ˜›
Ok, maybe a short story based on the whole sugar high/crash idea.

I remember when my brother, sister and I were kids. Every year we would get our mother a large heart shaped box of Fanny May candy for Valentines day. We used her money to buy it of course and I am fairly sure that any change went for things like Lemonheads and ice cream. Well, each and every year, mom would put the opened box into the fridge. She wasn’t a huge sweets eater (obviously I get my love of them from my sweets binging diabetic father hehe) so would put it there with, I’m sure, the idea that when she wanted a piece (ONE piece) she could get one (again… ONE piece. Who does that!?). Well, every.single.year. mom would invariably come to us with a heart shaped box asking what had happened. Why? Because what she held was a practically empty box bearing only one or two pieces of candy that had a bite out of the side, those pieces being the ones none of us kids liked.

Mom always said she hoped I had kids just like me. I did. I now have a “stash” of candy and junk food in my closet that the kids are supposed to stay out of. HA! yeah, right. The ones living at home go in it all the time and the ones who come and visit head straight to the stash, coming out bearing junk food galore and innocent expressions.

On a side note, taking a drink of Pepsi Throwback after eating a huge serving of flan isn’t advisable. It has absolutely no flavor according to my “sweeted out” taste buds plus I think my pancreas just cried a little, then died.

This is one yummy flan btw. Sweet (oh my, is it sweet), quite coconutty, with that mouth feel texture that everyone loves (man, that sounds vaguely obscene. but then I’m tired and everything is making me titter). The caramel sauce on the top is the perfect topping. I used to make flan just for the topping. I swear I did. I’m weird. This is intensely coconutty so if you’re so so about coconut flavor this may be one you need to pass by.

Creamy Coconut Flan

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can cream of coconut (found with the drink mixers- do NOT sub coconut milk)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut vodka
  • Toasted coconut for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Pour your sugar into a small saucepot. Heat it over medium high heat until it is melted and a nice golden brown color. Don’t walk away once it starts melting. It doesn’t take long to go from melting to scorched and wasted.
  3. Pour the sugar onto the bottom of 8 one cup ramekins, swirling to coat the bottom of the ramekins with the melted sugar.
  4. Whisk the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl until foamy. Add in the condensed milk, cream of coconut, cream, vanilla extract and vodka. Whisk until well combined. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl (preferably one with a pour spout) or large measuring cup.
  5. Pour the flan mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins. Set the ramekins into two deep baking dishes. Set into the oven then carefully add hot water to each pan to go about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. be careful not to slosh any INTO them though.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees until the center is almost set, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove from the pan (I used tongs) and set on a wire rack for about an hour, then transfer to the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  8. Carefully slide a butter knife all around the edges of each flan and invert onto a plate. If it doesn’t come out,Β  place the ramekin into hot water for a minute or so to loosen it up, then try again. Garnish with the toasted coconut if using.

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Rumors Of My Death Yada Yada Yada

I’m fairly sure no one really missed me or even noticed that I hadn’t posted in a couple of weeks *sobs dejectedly and hides under the bed* but just in case…. I’M NOT DEAD!!!! Just thought I’d mention that in case you weren’t sure if I was dead or not when you saw a post from me.

*Scratches head, looks confuzzled, starts to speak and gives up*

Seriously though (who am I fooling with the word ‘seriously” in my blog? Please raise your hand so that we can all laugh at you), I AM back. Can I promise I won’t disappear again? No. I may get hit by a falling space satellite tomorrow. I could contract Typhoid. I could get eaten by an enraged chicken. You never know.

Or I could just need a break again and not be the type to try to get whining attention by writing a post saying “I must leave *insert heavy sigh* because life is too hard *insert more sighs* and I need to lie in my bed, watch bad reality shows and eat Cheetos *sigh more and look downtrodden* and then expect 500 people to comment telling me to go away and come back when I’m refreshed. I prefer to just go away, come back when I’m refreshed and giggle maniacally knowing that maybe one or two of you were wondering where I had gone. I DID need to go away though. For reasons that are probably obvious if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I just needed some down time… physically, emotionally, mentally. But I’m back, I’m raring to go and I MISSED ALL OF YOU!!! *Spreads hugs, kisses and Twinkies everywhere*

And I like to think I have come back with a bang. Berries are getting a bit less expensive as the year progresses (meaning I didn’t have to sell the kids to buy some berries) and if you’ve read my blog, you know I love berries. During the Summer, I tend to exist on fresh blueberries and raspberries *”Violet! You’re turning Violet, Violet!!” (who knows what that’s from? Huh huh huh?)

So what I have for you today *uses my professional voice* is pretty darn yummy. It’s also pretty darn rich so plan to have this after a light meal, not, say, a pork roast or after going to a Chinese buffet (am I the only one who eats like a pig at those?) . I made a parfait that layers a rich white chocolate/almond pudding with fresh berries. I originally started out with a cake that had a white chocolate/almond filling and berries on top and it morphed into this lol.

This is fairly easy. You’re just making a pastry cream, lightening it up into a pudding type mixture, layering it with berries and there ya go… bobs your uncle (what the heck does that phrase MEAN anyway!?)

Berry & White Chocolate/Almond Parfait

  • 1 cup half and half or light cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Scant 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup almond paste, crumbled
  • 6 ounces good quality white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 3 cup assorted berries
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  1. Pour half and half into a saucepan. Add vanilla extract and bring cream to a gentle simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and flour.
  3. Whisk in the eggs, then the warm half and half. Pour this back into the saucepan.
  4. Add the almond paste and whisk over medium heat until almond paste dissolves and pudding boils, about ten minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the white chocolate. Let sit for about 3 minutes, then stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  6. Put plastic wrap over pudding and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
  7. When cold, fold in the heavy cream. Cover again and chill for about another 3 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, put the preserves in a small bowl and microwave until melted, about 25 seconds.
  9. Fold gently into the berries in a medium bowl.
  10. Make a layer of the pudding, a layer of berries, another layer of pudding and top with more berries. Serve. Drool. Eat too much.

 


Have Rice Will… Kill All Nutritional Value In It

I have heard a lot of people decry pudding as a boring dessert alternative. I completely disagree. Pudding is awesome darn it! Smeared all over… ok, wait, let’s change the tangent I was about to go off on there. My bad. πŸ˜›Β  Where was I? Pudding is awesome. When I was a kid back in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, I’m older than most other bloggers. I like to think that makes me wiser and smarter and more experienced and a better cook… and far cuter. Or something like that.) when most women were entering the work force for the first time, pudding meant the dry powder in a box mixed with milk because none of our mothers had the time to actually MAKE pudding home made. I have to admit to still having a certain fondness for the Butterscotch flavor. I still buy it as well as the newer types of pudding that have come out. The Jello Temptations are pretty darn good and are low calorie and Jello brands sugar free Creme Brulee Rice Pudding is…wait for it… “to die for” *grins cause you all know what I think of that phrase πŸ˜› .

But rice pudding for me has always been a sort of comfort food and nothing beats home made. But… *sighs deeply*… being me, I am never content to leave well enough alone. Nooooooo… I have to mess with things I like to try and make more things I like. Like I did last night with rice pudding. Mind you, it worked. Quite nicely. But now I have a craving for regular warm rice pudding covered in a few pounds of Cinnamon (sorry Ann … I know you can’t do Cinnamon. But that’s why you should keep reading :-P). But until I decide to make that, this is a wonderful Summery alternative. If you like coconut (no coconut pieces in it cause I just don’t care for the texture as much as I love the flavor) and Pineapple, you should love this. Plus, if you want to lighten it, it can be done by using low fat coconut milk, lighter milk and light or fat free whipped topping instead of the heavy cream. The Greek yogurt in this adds a nice tang as well as some extra nutrition. All in all, while this isn’t exactly great for you (this IS me after all πŸ˜› ), it’s certainly not BAD for you either if you use lighter ingredients. I hope you like it! There was no way to really photograph rice pudding to make it look exciting lol, but it sure does taste good πŸ˜€ This makes a lot so it could be cut in half if needed.

Β Pina Colada Rice Pudding With A Greek Yogurt Twist

  • 4 cups cooked rice (I used leftover Basmati Coconut rice but any cooked rice would do. I actually think this would be better with plain white rice. )
  • 2 cans coconut milk (I used full fat cause the low fat tastes watery to me in all the brands I have tried but you could sub low fat)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks, well drained
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped or 1 1/2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used honey flavored because it was what I had on hand)
  1. In a medium heavy bottomed (preferably non stick) sauce pot, combine the cooked rice and the coconut milk. Stir well to mix. Over medium heat, bring the mix to a gentle boil stirring very often.
  2. Turn heat down to low (I had it on two) and cover. Cook the rice until all the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Mine took about 30 minutes.
  3. Pour mixture into a large bowl and cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
  4. When rice is cold, mix the whipped cream (or whipped topping) with the Greek yogurt.
  5. Break up the rice pudding (it will be stiff) and fold the cream/yogurt mixture into it.
  6. Add the drained pineapple and mix well. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

That Bread Pudding Thing Again

I’ve mentioned before my love/hate relationship with bread pudding. I love to hate it. More specifically I love to hate the insipid things that some pass off as bread pudding. Stale white bread from the grocery store mixed with 2%milk (or worse… let’s make bread pudding healthy and use skim. Ummm.. gag?) and a handful of raisins and some cinnamon cooked until it is a hardened pile of gunk. I’ll take Twinkies instead thank you. On that note though, I cringe every time I see recipes for bread pudding that use things like Twinkies or doughnuts. Even I have some health standards (says the woman about to give you a recipe using 3 cups of heavy cream. But hey! If it were also made with Twinkies, it would be even worse! So see? I DO care for your arteries!! I do, I do I do!)

I do though love to play with bread pudding. Not THAT way… get your mind out of the gutter ! I like to take flavors that one typically sees elsewhere (like my apricot white chocolate bread pudding that I more or less based on the idea of white chocolate dipped apricots) and turn them into bread pudding. So many things can be done with a loaf of a sweet bread (or french or Italian in the case of savory bread puddings), some rich custard and simple ingredients. You can take what started out generations ago as a way to use up leftovers and feed people a hearty breakfast (or lunch or dinner or dessert) and turn it into something that even die hard bread pudding haters (such as me) will love.

I decided I wanted to try a take on one of my favorite desserts; Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I didn’t want it inverted though. I wanted the bulk of the pineapple in it as well as the accompanying flavors (brown sugar and butter. YUM!) with the rest of those flavors in a sauce for over the top of it. I think this turned out rather well. I made it in mini spring form pans which technically are big enough for two servings. I say technically because I will stab with my fork anyone who gets near the one I am eating. yes, yes, I AM meek mild and gentle. Why do you ask? Back to the pudding…or…erhmmm, moving on πŸ˜€ The edges of these got all crispy and caramelized and sticky from the brown sugar and the natural sugars in the pineapple and that alone makes these oh so good. Add in the caramelly flavor of the pudding itself with the tang of the pineapple pieces then the creamy custard and rich sauce and I was in heaven. I am so so glad that I usually eat very little of what I make (as I’ve said before, I prefer to NOT weigh 600 pounds thank you very much) because then I won’t feel so guilty if I eat a whole mini cake of this.

Pineapple Upside Down Bread Pudding

With Creamy Pineapple Amaretto Sauce

  • SAUCE-
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in heavy syrup, drained, 1/2 cup syrup reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Amaretto liquor
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • PUDDING-
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup amaretto (or sub 2 teaspoons almond extract)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 loaf Kings Hawaiian Bread, cut into small cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 6 mini spring-form pans or a two quart baking dish.
  2. In a medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine all sauce ingredients other than the cream.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower heat to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool somewhat while you prepare pudding.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add in the brown sugar and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla, reserved 1/2 cup pineapple syrup, melted butter, the 2 cups of heavy cream and the amaretto. Mix well.
  5. Add 2 cups of the pineapple mixture, mixing well.
  6. Take the cubed bread and add to the cream mixture, pressing down with a spoon, fork, knife, shovel, whatever makes you happy, making sure to get all the bread submerged in the liquid. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to give the bread time to soak up the custard mix.
  7. Divide mixture between 6 greased mini spring-form pans (or a 2 quart pan, preferably glass, could be used) and bake at 325 for about 60 minutes or until you can stick a knife in the center of the custard and have no liquid custard seep up into the hole.
  8. Set aside to cool, still in the pans, for at least 2 hours (or take one out like I did and eat it piping hot and burn your tongue off. That works too.).
  9. While it is cooling, go back to your sauce. Eat a spoonful and moan cause it’s yummy and just like the stuff on pineapple upside down cake.
  10. Add the 1 cup of heavy cream to the pineapple sauce. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Let simmer for ten minutes, still stirring often.Β  Set aside.
  11. Carefully remove the sides and bottom of the spring-form pans. Put each pudding onto a serving plate and serve with some of the pineapple amaretto cream sauce

Remember That Meringue?

 

You know the one I mean. The one I made the other day that was chock full of cocoa and heath bars and whipped cream. THIS one . Well, making a meringue of that size leaves you with some left over egg yolks.Β  Then there was the yummy Chicken Curry from yesterday.
This one here . Well, I made too much rice when I made that. My refrigerator isn’t the neatest place in the world at the best of times (translate- looking for something in there requires detective skills and hand grenades) but adding in a container filled with egg yolks precariously balanced on top of various Fage yogurts and a container of Brussell Sprouts and something that growled at me that I left alone and a bowl filled with cold rice makes for a dangerous situation, especially when you have kids and a husband for whom being careful is a mysterious thing women do.

So I decided to make rice pudding. Albeit, a very rich rice pudding with six egg yolks in it but a rice pudding nonetheless. But as much as I love rice pudding, I wanted to do something different with it. Well, I love tea. Just about any type of tea though I have never really been able to get on the “green tea tastes better and is better for you” bandwagon. And I really love spiced Chai. On a side note, it drives me nuts when people say they want some Chai Tea. Chai is the word for tea, just not in English πŸ˜› So when they say they want Chai tea, they are saying they want tea tea hehe.

Asssss I was saying, I love chai. All the spices in it, the heavenly smell… it just some good stuff. So I decided to make a Chai spiced Rice Pudding. But that’s not all folks! Nope, buy one now and we’ll include a second for free!!! Erhmmm… sorry. Been watching too much TV. I decided to make the chai spiced rice pudding but also make it bruleed. It certainly has enough egg yolks and cream in it to qualify for a brulee topping πŸ˜€

I mentioned on the facebook fan page for the blog that it would probably be a good idea to make sure you actually READ your spice bottle instead of just grabbing one that begins with the letter C assuming it is the Cardamom you want. Because if you don’t read, you may just end up doing what I did and using Coriander in your rice pudding instead. Not smart. Thank God something told me to only use a sprinkle and then look at the bottle. Coriander spiced rice pudding just doesn’t sound good to me.

CHAI SPICED BRULEED RICE PUDDING

  • 3 cups leftover cold rice
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (NOT Coriander πŸ˜› )
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional. Doesn’t really go with the Chai idea but I just love raisins in my rice pudding)
  • 1 cup brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup white sugar

Note- If you just want a regular rice pudding use the cinnamon but omit the other spices

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 3 quart baking dish.
  2. In a large pot, mix your cold rice with the milk, cream, vanilla, sugar and spices, making sure to break up any lumps. Add the raisins if using. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a simmer.
  3. Meanwhile, beat your egg yolks and one egg together. When the milk mixture comes to a simmer, take 1/2 cup of it and SLOWLY drizzle it into your eggs to bring up the temp of the eggs so that they don’t just scramble when added to the milk. When the 1/2 cup milk and the eggs are mixed, slowly drizzle this into the hot milk/rice mix, whisking the whole time.
  4. Cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Carefully pour the pudding into the buttered baking pan. Cook at 325 until a knife inserted in the center comes out almost clean. It’s ok if there is a little soft rice or liquid on the knife. You just don’t want it to come out dripping. It will finish cooking from it’s own residual heat if the knife is mostly clean.
  6. Sprinkle the mixed brown and white sugar over the top of the pudding. Using a kitchen torch (I love playing with fire) carefully caramelize the sugar.
  7. Serve warm, cold or at room temp; however you prefer it. Is yummy served warm (the sugar on top hardens up) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over it. Or like I had it; with a small puddle of heavy cream poured onto it. YUM!