Who doesn’t love pudding? It’s soft and homey and yummy and a great way to get rid of leftovers. Got a carton of milk you need to use up? Turn it into chocolate pudding. Day-old bread? Perfect for bread pudding. Soft, old bananas? You guessed it: banana pudding! It’s a dessert that can satisfy any craving.
Sweet and Corny Chocolate Pudding
Did you know the world’s easiest chocolate pudding skips the eggs and aggravation and uses cornstarch for thickening instead? In a saucepan, mix a coffee cup of sugar with a few heaping spoons each of cocoa powder and cornstarch. Over low heat, stir in 3 coffee cups of milk and bring to a slight boil, stirring the whole time. (The low heat takes longer but makes gorgeous, thicker pudding.) When you feel things thicken up, remove from heat and stir in a little drizzle of vanilla extract and one plop of softened sweet butter. Serve warm or stick it in fridge till you’re ready to chow down! A little whipped cream on top is always nice. So are chocolate shavings, toasted almonds, raspberries, or crumbled Oreos.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Break up 8 slices of day-old bread into pieces. (I love challah, but any kind will do.) Butter up a 12 x 8-inch baking pan and press your bread bits in. Melt a few plops of butter and drizzle over the bread, then sprinkle with a heaping handful of currants or raisins. In a bowl, mix 5 eggs. Mix in 2 coffee cups of milk (or half and half, or cream, or a combo), a pinch of cinnamon, a tiny pinch of nutmeg, a heaping handful of sugar, a drizzle of vanilla extract, and a little pinch of salt. Pour over your bread, making sure it’s all covered. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle the top with a handful of brown sugar. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until pudding is set.
Crazy Good Store-Bought Banana Pudding
Believe it or not, in our million-dollar, fancy shmancy commercial kitchen, with a pastry chef who worked at Le Cirque, this recipe is a fave. Buy a package of instant banana pudding and mix with milk, according to package instructions. Slice up 3 or 4 bananas. Melt a few plops of sweet butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the banana and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, then sprinkle with a handful of brown sugar. Pour in a shot of brandy (or rum or whiskey)—sometimes this will flambé, which is always fun. Serve in a bowl: first the pudding, then cooked bananas, and top with whipped cream.
By Chef Rossi
Photographed by Emily Hawkes
This piece originally appeared in the January/February 2019 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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