Chocolate Pudding Mini Trifles

Bonjour! I’m supposed to be working on my Thesis Committee meeting presentation…buutttt instead, I made these Chocolate Pudding Mini Trifles. Okay, I’m not THAT bad, we’re having a holiday lunch tomorrow at the lab, and I said I would bring dessert. I am trying to convince myself that my procrastination is justified. It may or may not be working…

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Anyways, back to pudding! Pudding was my favourite lunch treat back when I was a child. But, of course, it was always from the little plastic cups. This was my first time ever making pudding, from scratch. There is no powder with unpronounceable chemicals involved! Only real ingredients like whole milk, chocolate, and love. This trifle has four simple components: chocolate pudding, vanilla whipped cream, brownies, and strawberries.

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To make the pudding, just go ahead and follow the tutorial on The Kitchn (http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-chocolate-pudding-from-scratch-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-195012). SUUUUUPERRR easy! Don’t be frightened! The recipe says it will feed 8, but because of all the extra stuff I added, I got 16 servings.

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For the bottom layer, I baked brownies, and crumbled them up. Feel free to used a mix here, that’s what I did. I know, I know.

I found these cute little plastic wine glasses at the dollar store (don’t judge), and thought they would make a perfect presentation! The first layer was a spoonful of brownie crumbs, then pudding, followed by strawberries, and whipped cream. I topped off each trifle with grated chocolate for some panache!

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This is a great treat for a potluck, or Christmas party.

I hope you try it, and let me know how it goes!

-G

How To Make Chocolate Pudding from Scratch

Makes 8 servings (4 cups)

What You Need

Ingredients
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Equipment
Cutting board
Sharp serrated knife
Large heatproof bowl
Whisk
3-quart (or larger) cooking pot
2-quart storage container
Plastic wrap or wax paper

Instructions

  1. Chop the chocolate: Use a serrated knife to chop the chocolate into fine flakes. Set aside.
  2. Make a slurry: In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the cream, a little at a time, until you have a smooth mixture.
  3. Whisk in the eggs: Whisk the eggs into the cream and cornstarch mixture.
  4. Combine the milk and sugar: Pour the milk into a 3-quart (or larger) saucepan. Add the sugar and warm over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Bring the milk to a simmer: Bring to a light simmer over medium heat. Watch for the surface of the milk to vibrate and for bubbles to form around the edges of the pot.
  6. Temper the egg mixture: Pour most of the hot milk into the bowl of cream and egg yolks. Whisk until well-combined, then pour everything back into the pot.
  7. Bring the pudding to a full boil: Warm the combined pudding mixture over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a full boil. (It should look like lava boiling up!) At this point, the pudding will look much thicker.
  8. Cook the pudding for 2 minutes: After the pudding starts boiling, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly and vigorously. Get your whisk into all corners of the pot.
  9. Flavor the pudding: After 2 minutes, remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Then add the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted. Whisk vigorously until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  10. Chill the pudding: Spread the pudding in a storage container and press plastic wrap or wax paper directly onto the surface of the pudding. Cover with a lid and chill. Best eaten within 3 days.
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Summer Popsicles

You know those home popsicle molds that are most likely meant for children? I had wanted one for quite a while, I even tried making one myself but that ended…messily. When I finally bought one I was pretty excited and ready to try all these recipes. The first ones I tried were simple and successful, plain strawberry and a strawberry banana hybrid. Next I made these awful avocado things which completely destroyed my desire to make delicious popsicles and that was the end of that phase. However, my initial attempt was successful so here it is…Image-1

I really wanted to make a multicolored popsicle so I started off with a plain strawberry base. I blended strawberries, sugar, and some lemon juice until it was smooth. I froze a couple just like that and they were lovely. To my surprise, they weren’t like those store-bought popsicles where you suck out all the flavour at once and all you’re left with is essentially bland ice.

To get the second color, I decided to go with banana. I mashed some banana with Greek yoghurt (this would have been a little tastier with some added sugar, but taste it and then decide). Because of the weights, I put the banana on the bottom and topped it with the strawberry layer. I decided three layers would be slightly excessive.Image

That’s all, a simple summer treat that can be as healthy or unhealthy as you desire!

– S

Strawberry Shortcake

 

 

You know those days when you do so much exercise that having a little (or large) treat feels justified? Well, today was not one of those days. I had an unhealthy meal, did no exercise, and then proceeded to eat dessert. But hey, if I acknowledge that it wasn’t the best thing for my body, doesn’t that count for something? No? Well then…

Today I made strawberry shortcake. This is one of those desserts that I’ve never tasted at a restaurant or anything, but the version I made was delicious, so I’ll just assume it was right. The recipe I used was from Laura Vitale on Youtube. I’ve tried this recipe a couple of times, and this is definitely one of those dishes that requires you to use butter (I usually use margarine in its place) to ensure that the dough is perfectly flaky and tasty.

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If you want to cut down on the sugar in this recipe just don’t sweeten your strawberries and don’t add too much extra sugar when whipping up the cream. That’ll help…somewhat. There’s nothing too complicated with this recipe, and it comes together really quickly.

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Hope everyone is having a wonderful week and we’ll talk to you soon.

– S

 

Recipe from http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=117 

Ingredients
For the shortcakes:

1 ½ Cups of All Purpose Flour

¼ Cup of Sugar

2 tsp of Baking Powder

1 Stick or Half Cup of Cold Butter

¼ tsp of Salt

½ Cup of Heavy Cream
(you can just use milk here)

1 Egg Yolk, beaten

Egg Wash, for the topping ( 1 egg beaten with a bit of water)

Additional Sugar, for sprinkling on top

 

For the Berries and Cream:

Fresh Sliced Strawberries

Zest of One Small Orange

2 Tbsp of Sugar, or more if the strawberries are not very sweet

Juice of Half an Orange

Whipped cream

Process

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2) In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a peddle attachment, combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and mix until the butter is dispersed thru and is the size of small peas.

3) Add the cream and egg yolk. Combine together just until a dough forms. Dump on a board and form the dough into about half inch thick. Cut squares or circles and place on your prepared baking sheet.

4) Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle a little sugar over them.

5) Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden, let cool completely.

6) For the strawberries, place them in a bowl along with the sugar, orange zest and orange juice. Let them sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

7) When ready to serve, slice the shortcake in half, spoon a little whipped cream on the one of the cut sides and add some marinated strawberries on top, place the top half on and spoon a little more whip cream over the top and fish off with a fresh strawberry.