Baked Sunday Mornings: Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Budino

I grew up on Jell-O pudding. I enjoyed it in every form: cook and serve, instant, pre-packaged pudding cups, frozen pudding pops, and even the unnatural green pistachio variety with chopped nuts. It was only as an adult that I learned how easy it is to make your own pudding without a powdered mix. This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, "Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Budino," is a throwback to childhood -- layers of vanilla bean and milk chocolate pudding topped off with whipped cream.

You make the base pudding mixture by cooking sugar, cornstarch, salt, and whole milk until the mixture comes to a boil; using some of the hot liquid to temper a mixture of eggs, egg yolks, and cream; and adding the egg mixture back into the milk mixture and cooking until thickened. You divide the pudding in half, adding one part to some melted milk chocolate and the other part to a mixture of bourbon and vanilla bean seeds. You finish both puddings with a little butter. I put the vanilla pudding through a sieve to remove any bits of vanilla pod (while retaining all of the fine vanilla seeds, as you can see in the photo below).

I wanted smaller serving sizes, so used five-ounce plastic cups to assemble my budinos and I was able to get twelve servings from the recipe. I spooned in some vanilla pudding, chilled the cups briefly, spooned on chocolate pudding, pressed plastic wrap against the top to prevent a skin from forming, chilled the cups overnight, and then garnished the pudding with some lightly sweetened whipped cream before serving.

I loved this pudding. It was creamy, sweet, and lusciously smooth, and it delivered pure, clean, vanilla and milk chocolate flavors. The whipped cream was a delightful accompaniment. This dessert is simple and straightforward, but it delivers all the delight of my childhood pudding memories -- and then some!

Recipe: "Vanilla Bean and Chocolate Budino" from Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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I went with the same servings too. I think they are so cute small!
Unknown said…
Agree with everything you said! Nice presentation!
Anonymous said…
I loved this too. I grew up with only Jello pudding too, I had no idea how pudding was made or that it was so easy. Yours looks wonderful.