First of a New Subseries: S’mores Pudding Parfait

Makin pudding even better.

You knew I’d get around to it eventually…

As promised in the Intro to the Series: 2012 Food Trends for the Home Cook, I bring you the first of the subseries, “More Pudding If You Please.”

Pudding.  Who doesn’t love pudding?  It’s impossible to turn your nose up at that soft, cool, sweet, creamy childhood favorite.  We’ve all enjoyed pudding from a box, but did you know it’s just as easy to make it from scratch?

Why, you might ask, would anyone want to do such a thing?  Let me count the ways:

1) You can make it whenever the mood strikes, whether or not you have a box mix in your cupboard, because it’s made up of pantry staples you are likely to always keep on hand.

2) You can flavor it to your specific tastes, whatever they may be.

3) This version can also be eaten warm, yes, you heard me right, warm.  Which is so comforting on a snowy February day.

Now a few words about s’mores.  I, personally, cannot imagine a more perfect treat.  It’s got it all, chocolate, duh, of course (I know there are desserts without chocolate, but given the choice between one with and one without… I mean, hello?), fluffy, toasty marshmallow, and crunchy, sweet graham?!

It’s funny how kids have a way of just cutting right to the chase.  Of course, I could never admit to the fact that s’mores are really the only reason I want to go camping.  But on a recent trip with friends, I really couldn’t argue my boys’ sentiment: Once the s’mores have been eaten, what’s the point?  Why not just pack up camp and go home?  I mean what are we doing out here in this godforsaken wilderness?

So let’s combine two can’t miss treats for a surefire dessert winner.  Here is what you will need:

Crushed Graham Crackers or Graham Cracker Crumbs
(or you could use these little graham cracker nuggets that I found lurking in my kid’s snack cupboard)Chocolate Pudding, recipe follows
Meringue, recipe follows

Chocolate Pudding

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 3/4 cups whole milk, or 2 cups lowfat milk + 3/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch.

Stir it with a whisk to combine everything and break up any lumps.

Pour in the milk/cream and vanilla, and whisk well to combine.

Now pop it on the stove.  You’ll want to give it a stir every few minutes so it cooks evenly.  Once it gets to a certain temperature, (which will probably take no more than five minutes or so), it will transform, before your very eyes, from a thin, frothy liquid to a thick, rich pudding.   It’s magical!

Whisk in the butter, really well so there are no lumps, and then pour it into a heat-safe container.

Now there are two schools of thought on pudding skin: either you love it or you hate it.  I personally love it, but my Mr. does not, so I make the sacrifice.  Aren’t I so selfless…?

If you don’t want skin, just press some cling film directly onto the surface of the pudding.

Refrigerate, if you have the willpower to wait until it’s cool.

Now for the meringue.  It couldn’t be simpler.

Marshmallow Meringue

1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Egg white in mixer on high ’till fluffy, in goes sugar, beat ’till stiff, fold in vanilla.  Done.

In your serving dish, drop a layer of graham, spoon on chocolate pudding, and top with marshmallow meringue.

Torch the top with one of these awesome kitchen gadgets:

Brulee Torch

…or run it under the broiler for a minute until toasty brown.

Such a tasty treat, and no bug spray required!

Click here for a printable 4×6 recipe card:  Homemeade Chocolate Pudding Recipe Card

Click here for the Intro to the Series: 2012 Food Trends for the Home Cook
(This link will direct you to numerous recipe ideas related to these other four food trends:  Fun French Fries, French Macarons, Greater Grilled Cheese, and Korean Food.  Have fun drooling!)

…and stay tuned for more delicious pudding ideas!

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2 thoughts on “First of a New Subseries: S’mores Pudding Parfait

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