When I posted the list of 125 recipes that use egg yolks, I 100% intended to give a couple of them a try with the extra yolks from my Mother’s Day cake. From the extensive list of egg yolk recipes, I picked a recipe from Martha Stewart to try out. It’s a pretty basic looking chocolate/vanilla pudding recipe that takes 4 yolks for each batch. I figured that if I made a batch of each I could use up most of the yolks I had left over.
Because I was planning to make pudding, I saved the trimmings from my Mother’s Day cake to make parfait-styled desserts. The cake layered quite nicely in mason jars with some pudding and fruit; in my opinion, this is Pinterest worthy (but let’s be serious, somebody else out there has probably definitely done this already).
Making the pudding was extremely simple. Essentially everything goes in a pot, which you heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Stir in your butter and vanilla, chill, and eat! The science behind this recipe is similar to that of the German Cheesecakes that Roopa and I made during our time at The Pastry Training Centre of Vancouver.
In a custard with cornstarch, the cornstarch helps to protect the egg proteins from curdling at boiling temperatures. Starch also helps to thicken the custard. One thing you do need to be wary of, however, is that eggs contain amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starches. Because enzymes are proteins, we do need to bring starch-based custards to a boil. To ensure that the amylase is denatured (deactivated in science speak), it is important to cook the custard for another minute or so after bubbling starts. If you don’t heat the custard enough to denature the amylase it will breakdown the cornstarch, and your custard will be runny. (But wait! What about the egg proteins!?) Despite the protective effects of the cornstarch, you can still scramble your custard if you overcook it, so be careful! I found this Fine Cooking article on custard to be a pretty good resource that explains the differences between custards, and is quite similar to what we (Roopa and I) learned from Chef Marco a few months ago.
Perfect snack for hammock cuddles on a nice day 🙂
This recipe is really great on it’s own, and there are quite a few flavour ideas listed with the original recipe. I’m personally excited to try steeping tea in the milk! Chocolate chai anybody? London Fog?! 🙂
Vanilla & Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Martha Stewart.com
- 2/3 cup (140 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (35 g) cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- 2 ½ cups (625 ml) milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Ready a medium sized bowl by placing a fine-meshed sieve over top, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan (no heat) whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and coco powder (if your using the chocolate variation). Add a couple tablespoons of the milk initially, and whisk your mixture until all of the cornstarch has dissolved. Once smooth, whisk in the rest of the milk first, then the egg yolks second.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until large bubbles form. Reduce heat and continue to cook for another minute (check out the science I mentioned!)
- Remove from heat, and pour custard through the sieve into the bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to push the pudding through if needed. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding, to prevent a film from forming, then chill the pudding in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Whisk the pudding smooth before serving, and enjoy 🙂