Wednesday, January 16, 2013

white chocolate pudding with blackberry curd

Continuing the countdown of sweets in honor of Valentine's day: I think these are like the little black dress version of pudding- they are so chic and classy looking. What is great about them is they are not terribly difficult. It does involve focused attention but it is for a relatively small span of time and then, into the fridge they go (up to 3 days in advance!) A great dinner party solution or, again, late night Valentine's day dessert.

I will admit, I was not initially thrilled by the prospect of white chocolate. I tend to steer clear of it in everyday life. I blame the proliferation of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies in the 90's (seriously, they were everywhere.) However, these silky puddings are not overly sweet and with the tartness of blackberry curd, it is a lovely bite.

Knowing how much my husband loves blackberry, I actually doubled the blackberry curd recipe below. If you make the recipe as shown, the layer of topping will be narrower.

The recipe makes enough for 6 servings and I played around with a couple larger glasses and smaller mini-pint glasses too. How darling would a tray of these be on a dessert buffet for a spring bridal or baby shower? I cannot think of an occasion these would not work for (again, just like that perfect little black dress.)

This recipe is from Deb Perelman's Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

white chocolate pudding with blackberry curd

ingredients for pudding:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 1/4 cups whole milk
4 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

ingredients for quick blackberry curd:
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1) make the pudding: combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Before turning on the heat, slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water, and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary, should lumps begin to form.

2) After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. (Take care to not cut this step short, otherwise, the pudding will taste floury.) Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

3) For perfectly silken texture, you can strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl with a spout, and pour into individual serving dishes. Chill in fridge.

4) Meanwhile, prepare the blackberry topping: Puree berries in a food processor or blender until as smooth as possible. Press through a fine-mesh strainer to remove seeds. You should have between 3 and 4 tablespoons of puree.

5) Whisk together the blackberry puree, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and egg in a heavy 1-quart saucepan. Stir in the butter, and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until the curd is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk, and until the first bubble appears on surface, about 4 to 5 minutes. Pass through a strainer again if you want perfect texture. Divide curd among prepared cups gently spreading it on pudding surfaces.

Note: Perelman writes, chill puddings in fridge for at least an hour and up to 3 days.

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