Baked Sunday Mornings: S'more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, S'more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding, is the final recipe in Baked Elements -- and after making this pudding, I can say that I've made every recipe in the book. (Since I'm an attorney, I do have to make a disclaimer -- I didn't make the homemade peanut butter or roast my own pumpkin puree, but I don't consider those to be material deficiencies.)

I love pudding and don't think it gets its due. In recent years, I have started serving puddings and mousses at our annual holiday party. Puddings are always a huge hit with our guests, and they are super convenient since I can make them in advance and just pull them out of the fridge to serve. The S'more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding is a great example of how pudding can be a truly special dessert -- it includes chocolate-whiskey pudding layered with graham cracker crumbs, topped with toasted whiskey marshmallow.

To make the chocolate pudding, you bring a mixture of sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder, salt, egg yolks, milk, and cream to a boil, and then add bittersweet chocolate, butter, and whiskey. After cooling the pudding slightly, you layer it with graham cracker crust crumbs (a mixture of ground graham crackers, butter, sugar, and cinnamon, that has been toasted in the oven) and chill the puddings until cold. Then you top the puddings with whiskey marshmallow (egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, and whiskey, heated to 160 degrees and then beaten to stiff peaks) and brown the marshmallow with a kitchen torch.
The recipe only includes a small amount of whiskey, but since I don't drink alcohol and don't like the taste, I divided the pudding into two parts and only added whiskey to one half. I asked my husband what whiskey he wanted me to use for his half of the pudding, and he gave me a bottle of The Macallan Fine Oak 21. There is only a tiny amount of whiskey in the marshmallow, so I went ahead and added whiskey to the entire topping mixture.

This pudding is incredibly rich. I used Scharffen Berger 62% chocolate and I was surprised at the intensity of the pudding's chocolate flavor (which was no doubt enhanced by the inclusion of espresso powder as well). My husband said the whiskey flavor in his boozy version was subtle, but that it added spice and complexity. In addition, the texture of the pudding was very thick - you could turn a spoonful of it upside down and it wouldn't budge. 

I wanted to use up all of the marshmallow, so the layer of topping on the puddings was quite thick. In retrospect, that was a mistake. The marshmallow didn't have a lot of flavor and the gooey texture wasn't all that interesting, so eating a big spoonful of it wasn't very rewarding. The toasted portions were much better -- so in the future, I would just add a thin layer of topping to make sure that all of it got toasted.

Because I used glasses that were relatively narrow in diameter, the layers of graham cracker crumbs were thick, and the crumbs stayed crunchy. I liked the flavor and texture contrast of the graham cracker, but I thought that the cinnamon was a little heavy handed and probably wasn't necessary. But it's a small nit, and this dessert was sinfully good. It was a fitting finish to Baked Elements.

Next up: Baked Occasions!

Recipe: "S'more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Unknown said…
They look awesome!
I felt the same way..smaller would be better. I did love the cinnamon though but I am a nut for it. Beautiful picture of the amazing layers.
Unknown said…
I left the cinnamon out of the graham component since I'm not a huge fan. I loved the pudding too, it was so rich, smooth and chocolatey! Great way to finish out the book! I made about 50% of the recipes from the book - so impressed that you made them all :)
Anonymous said…
Gorgeous! Yes, this was a fabulous way to close out Elements. I think you and Sheri were the only ones to bake every single recipe-- congrats! And now onward. :)
Sheri said…
So perfect and pretty! And I feel better having a legal opinion on skipping out on the peanut butter and pumpkin puree. I didn't make them either! And we had to endure the stupid chocolate sauce so that more than makes up for it.

I like the way the piles of marshmallow look, even if it might not have tasted great.
Anonymous said…
Totally agreed on the quantity of marshmallow topping... could be less. The next time I make these, I will probably halve the marshmallow recipe. It's pretty, but a little much on top. Unlike you, I thought it was a touch too sugary too. But - I like how you call it: it's a "small nit", and overall, loved the recipe. Beautiful job! And congrats on making most of the recipes. I think I only made about 75%?
Is that a shot glass? LOL. Love how it displays each of the layers. I agree, there was more than enough marshmallow - I could have jarred some and used the extra for fudge!
Susan said…
What a fun grande finale! Your sweets always look so professional.

I'm so excited to get started on the new book! It's hard to believe we've been at it so long & it still fun.
Wow, all the recipes in the book! That is fantastic. Beautiful looking pudding. I can't wait to start the new book.