Today is reveal day for Secret Recipe Club and I was assigned to choose a recipe from Jennifer’s lovely blog, Jen’s Journey. Not only does Jen feature very drool worthy recipes, she reviews books, movies, restaurants, fashion-you name it! She is a veritable “jen of all trades”. It was very difficult to choose a recipe, but I was impressed with homemade mixes section as I am not a fan of boxed anything, preferring to make my own cakes, puddings, salad dressings, etc. We love puddings, so the easy homemade caramel pudding really appealed to me. It was a hit! A little instant espresso powder was added with a topping of whipped cream and chopped chocolate nut bark, a gift from a recent house guest. With no whole milk in the fridge, I used 2% milk, plus half and half (single cream).
Easy Caramel Pudding
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup half and half (single cream)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
Combine the 2% milk and half and half. Remove 1/4 cup of the combined milk to a small bowl. Whisk in cornstarch, salt, vanilla and expresso. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat milk until small bubbles form around the edges of the saucepan. Cover and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar with the 3 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil, swirling to distribute the sugar as it melts. Cook on medium-high heat until amber colored, about 5 minutes. Take care not to burn as the sugar water mixture goes from amber to black in a millisecond.
To the caramel, add the milk a little at a time and stir until caramel has melted into the milk. Cook over low heat about 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened very slightly and the color has deepened. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture, cooking over low heat, stirring constantly until pudding has thickened-about a minute. The pudding will thicken more as it cools.
Scrape the pudding into 4 ramekins and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours. To prevent a skin from forming over the pudding, press plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding. To serve, top with a dollop of stabilized whipped cream. This cream is perfect for icing cakes which called for a whipped cream topping.
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