Vanilla White Chocolate Pudding

31 Oct

This week has been a week of baking, cookies and cakes… I havent posted for days, and I am feeling a little bit out of sorts – still adjusting to being home, seeing old friends, re-establishing ties. And the sweet week of readjustment (accompanied by 3 major bundt cakes and cookies) is about to end – tomorrow comes meetings, work and the usual immersion in daily life. Bills to pay, people to see…

So tonight, I decided, after a lovely dinner with Pingaling, to treat myself. This pudding is so luscious, so creamy and smooth, so soft and silken and unctuous, that you can spread it all over yourself and bathe in it. It is like being enveloped in love and hugs and vanilla and sugar and sweetness. Its easy to make (about 20 minutes or less in terms of actual work time) and it is amazingly adaptable – brilliant either warm or cold.

It would be a phenomenal base for a white chocolate ice cream (just cool in the fridge overnight, and pop into your ice cream maker!). It makes a brilliant accompaniment to any manner of cake, pie, pastry or crumble. It would be stunning as the filling for a deep dark chocolate cake or ginger cake (that could be iced with whipped cream!). Served with fruits (particularly berries), this is a dream. And thinned out with a little more milk or cream, its a surprising and delightful custard.

But somehow, tonight, all I wanted was a bowl of this pudding, and a few of Adi’s crisp haunting vanilla cookies. The worries and pressures of tomorrow can wait. Tonight is a good night ๐Ÿ™‚

Makes about 3 1/2 cups

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk (though you can make it with low fat milk, it loses a bit in the richness – and of course you could add some cream but that is going just a tad overboard!)
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped and/or 1 tbsp (or to taste) vanilla essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt (I use Maldon or fleur de sel because I love the sudden pops of salty in all that sugary smoothness)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup (a few good ounces) white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan, and split the vanilla pod. Scrape the beans into the milk, and pop the pod in there too.

Heat the milk over your lowest heat, until it just starts to steam and bubble around the edges. This might take a while, so be patient, and busy yourself with other things while it is happening.

Once the milk is just at the point of boiling, take off heat, and cover for 5 minutes to let the vanilla bean steep. If you are not using vanilla bean, allow the milk to cool down for about five minutes while you prepare the eggs.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and add the egg yolks. Set the whites aside for another use. Add the salt and sugar, and begin to whisk. Let me just take a moment and state that I use light brown sugar in this recipe because I adore the slight caramel tones that the light brown brings to the flavour profile. However, if you prefer a very pristine pale pudding, without the caramel-y notes, feel free to use white caster sugar.

Whisk until the sugar has completely dissolved into the eggs.

Once the milk has cooled for 5 minutes or so, fish out the vanilla pod (if using), and whisk in the white chocolate. Whisk well to ensure that all the chocolate is completely melted (it should do this relatively quickly). Add a tablespoon or so of vanilla essence at this point and taste. You should have very strong vanilla and white chocolate notes. They should complement each other, but also be distinct. Adjust if you like.

Whisk about a third of the hot milk into the eggs, and continually whisking, add the egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan.

Put the pudding over very low heat and whisk constantly until it begins to thicken and steam and tiny bubbles begin to pop onto the surface. Whisk in the butter.

You need to keep your nerve here. Too long, and you get sweet, expensive, useless scrambled eggs. Too soon, and it doesnt thicken enough. Do remember though, that pudding does thicken substantially as it cools down. Its a balancing act, but I rather take off too soon than too late! You can always give it a little more heat if it does not set up as you would like it to.

Hopefully, you will have rinsed the bowl you whisked the eggs and sugar in. Place a sieve over this bowl, and pour the pudding through, to ensure a beautiful smoothness.

You now have a difficult choice. You could eat some pudding immediately (who am I kidding, I always do! Cook’s treat) … or place greaseproof paper over the surface of the pudding and refrigerate for about 2 hours or so until it has cooled and thickened completely.

Enjoy in a myriad of ways… and be comforted ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: