Thursday, June 3, 2010

Way better than SnackPacks

When I was a kid I used to take pudding SnackPacks in my lunch, usually chocolate, but sometimes chocolate mixed with vanilla--extreme! I haven't really had a pudding cup or even pudding for years, but I saw a recipe in the June issue of Bon Appetit for this bittersweet pudding from The Sandbar in Vancouver. I've never been to The Sandbar so I cannot vouch for the reliability of the recipe, but the version provided in the magazine is delicious, and pretty easy.

This recipe is slightly more rich than normal pudding because it uses bittersweet chocolate. To top off the whole thing, a caramel cream is added plus pecan pralines--these really help balance the bittersweet chocolate so I wouldn't suggest leaving them out. The extra caramel cream and pralines can be used on ice cream....

Dark Chocolate Pudding with Caramel Cream and Pecan Praline
adapted from Bon Appetit June 2010

Pudding, 6 servings

1/4 c. cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
1 2/3 c. plus 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 c. sugar
2 T. water
1/2 c. chilled heavy whipping cream

Whisk cornstarch and salt together in a bowl then add 1/2 cup of milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Stir 1 2/3 cup milk, 1 2/3 cup cream, chocolate and 1/2 c. sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth and beginning to bubble. Whisk in cornstarch mixture and allow to boil for two minutes, whisking constantly. Pour into six bowls and refrigerate for at least three hours.

Caramel Cream: Stir 1/2 c. sugar and 2 T. water in saucepan over medium low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring until a deep amber color, occasionally swirling the pan. Pourin 1/2 c. cream and stir until caramel has dissolved. Cool mixture. Beat 1/2 c. chilled cream in bowl until peaks form, fold in cooled caramel and refrigerate.

Pecan pralines:
3/4 c. pecans, toasted
3 T. water
3/4 c. sugar

heat sugar and water in saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium high as mixture boils without stirring and allow mixture to become a deep amber color. Add the pecans and coat well with the caramel. Pour the pralines onto a foil lined cookie sheet and cool completely. Peel from the foil and put in a food processor, pulsing into small pieces.

Top the finished puddings with caramel cream and pralines when serving.

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