Vanilla Pudding Pops

These creamy popsicles are a great summer treat. The chilled pudding was also absolutely delicious prior to being frozen, making this a dessert that can be enjoyed year-round. 🙂

This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living’s Everyday Food. An easy crowd pleaser.

Yield: 7-10 ice pops (depending on the size of the popsicle mold)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
    2. Gradually whisk in milk, mixing until ingredients are dissolved. Whisk in egg yolks.
    3. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters. Reduce heat to low; continue to whisk, and cook 1 minute.
    4. Remove from heat, and immediately pour through sieve into bowl; stir in vanilla.
    5. Using a funnel, divide mixture among ice-pop molds.
    6. Chill in refrigerator until cool and thickened, about 1 hour.
    7. Insert pop sticks, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 2 weeks.
    8. Dip molds briefly in warm water to release pops.

    Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

    I made this dessert for my Valentine this year. ❤ He added a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

    In part, I chose rice pudding because I wanted to make a dessert in ramekins that I had just found at an estate sale. 🙂 Thankfully, my husband is a fan. This recipe was slightly adapted from Food 52 Genius Desserts, contributed by Molly Wizenberg.

    Yield: Serves 6 to 8 (I filled 6 ramekins)

    • 1 1/2 cups (355 g) water
    • 3/4 cup (135 g) white Basmati rice
    • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
    • 3 cups (735 g) whole milk
    • 1 cup (235 g) heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    • cinnamon, for serving, optional
    1. Bring the water, rice, and salt to a simmer in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
    2. Pour in the milk, cream, and sugar.
    3. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the tip of a paring knife and then add the seeds and vanilla pod to the pot. Stir to combine.
    4. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot with a rubber spatula, until the rice is tender and the mixture thickens to a soft, loose pudding texture, about 30 to 40 minutes.
    5. Remove from the heat and set aside the vanilla bean.
    6. Spoon the pudding into 6 to 8 small bowls or ramekins.
    7. The pudding can be served warm or chilled. To chill, press plastic wrap onto the surface of each pudding to keep a skin from forming and refrigerate thoroughly until cold. (I prepared the pudding in the morning to serve that evening.)
    8. To serve, sprinkle with cinnamon, as desired.

    Sticky Banana Toffee Pudding

    Happy Mardi Gras! I am making our traditional King Cake today, but I thought that this dessert could also be an appropriate celebratory option. It reminded me of a New Orleans bread pudding with some of the flavors of Bananas Foster, another famous New Orleans dessert.

    The recipe was part of a Food and Wine magazine article, contributed by Laura Rege, titled “Ugly Delicious!” The author makes the point that a lot of delicious food isn’t Instagram drool-worthy. I didn’t really think that this dessert was that ugly, but it was delicious! 🙂

    Yield: Serves 9

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided, plus more for greasing
 (I used cooking oil spray for greasing)
    • 3/4 cup boiling water
    • 6 ounces pitted dates, chopped (1 cup)
 (I used Medjool dates)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 medium-size overripe bananas, mashed (1 cup)
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • unsweetened whipped cream, for serving
    1. Preheat oven to 350°, preferably on convection. Grease a 9-inch square metal cake pan with butter or cooking oil spray.
    2. In a small heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water over the dates; stir in the baking soda.
    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat 1/4 cup of the butter with 3/4 cup of the brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
    5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
    6. At low-speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
    7. Add the date mixture and bananas, and beat at low-speed until just combined.
    8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
    9. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, the remaining 1/4 cup of butter, and the remaining 1 cup of brown sugar. Bring to a gentle boil over moderate heat, and cook until slightly thickened and deep golden, about 3 minutes. Keep warm.
    10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack. Using a skewer or toothpick, poke holes all over the cake.
    11. Pour half of the warm sauce over the cake, and let stand until absorbed, about 10 minutes.
    12. Serve warm with the remaining sauce and the whipped cream.

    One Year Ago: Pear & Cranberry Pie

    Two Years Ago: My Mother-in-Law’s Napoleon Torte

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    Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

    This pudding gets its creaminess from avocados- and you would never know. It’s also made in minutes using a blender- fabulous! I love that it incorporated a vanilla bean and freshly squeezed orange juice too.

    This recipe is from Gjusta in Venice, California, via Bon Appetit. Fresh and great.

    Yield: Serves 8

    • 2 large avocados, pits removed
    • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ½ cup pure maple syrup
    • ¼ cup agave nectar
    • ¼ cup (or more) fresh orange juice
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1½ cups heavy cream, optional
    • ¼ cup cocoa nibs and/or chopped hazelnuts, optional
    1. Scoop avocado flesh into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
    2. Scrape in vanilla bean seeds; reserve pod for another use.
    3. Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, agave nectar, orange juice, and salt and blend to a coarse purée.
    4. With motor running, gradually stream in ¾ cup hot (but not boiling) water; blend, adding more orange juice as needed, until smooth and creamy.
    5. Divide pudding among eight 4–6 oz. ramekins or small bowls and chill (uncovered) at least 2 hours.
    6. Just before serving, whip cream in a medium bowl to soft peaks and spoon over pudding, if desired; top with cocoa nibs and/or hazelnuts.

    Note: Pudding can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

    One Year Ago:

    Two Years Ago:

    Three Years Ago:

    Warm Chocolate Puddings

    IMG_8183

    I dressed up a take-out pizza and salad night with this special dessert. Just as easy as box-mix brownies and much more fabulous! They are more like mini-soufflé cakes than warm puddings. This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I used Trader Joe’s 72% cacao Belgian dark chocolate and topped each pudding with salted caramel ice cream. They would have been just as delicious with vanilla bean ice cream- or coffee ice cream- or no ice cream?!? I’m bringing this wonderful dessert to Fiesta Friday #10 at the Novice Gardener this week. Enjoy! 🙂

    • 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Trader Joe’s 72% cacao Belgian dark chocolate)
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Ice cream (any flavor), for serving (optional) (I used salted caramel)
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (on convection). Place four 6- to 8-ounce ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Set aside.
    2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally just until melted, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; mix in 2 tablespoons sugar, then egg yolks and vanilla. Set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Still beating, gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar; beat until mixture is stiff and glossy.
    4. Using a rubber spatula, mix about 1/3 egg-white mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture just until combined. Divide among bowls. (Puddings can be prepared in advance up to this point; cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day.)
    5. Bake until tops are puffed and cracked but insides are still quite soft (a toothpick inserted in center will come out gooey), 10 to 12 minutes on convection, or longer if puddings were previously refrigerated. IMG_8168
    6. Serve, warm or at room temperature (puddings may sink as they cool), topped with ice cream, if desired.

    One Year Ago:

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