I enjoy watching my mom move about the kitchen. She has dog-eared magazines and books full of recipes, but her intuition is really what guides her through most meals. When I’m home, I mostly want to watch and admire my mom, but sometimes I find myself craving the kitchen action as well. This Christmas, I moved from the spectator seat to the center of the action. In the midst of the chocolate melting and the cranberries popping, I lost track of the mixers (and my mom for that matter). Once I was able to track down my mom, she pointed me to the freezer.
She had put the mixer blades in the freezer! Brilliant! When making whipped cream, a cold temperature is a baker’s best ally, but depending on the age and efficiency of your mixer, a long round of whipping can create some excess heat. I usually chill my mixing bowl in the freezer, but here was one more easy tip for the magical [shhh to all those super science geeks who may scoff at my childlike wonder for this] process of transforming cream into delicious whipped cream! Since you’ll be making so much whipped cream from scratch, you might as well make some chocolate pudding too!
2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks (local/free-range)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Put 2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl.
Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil.
Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.
Pour the pudding into 4 jam jars. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set.
Just before serving pour the cream into a chilled bowl. Whip the cream with a whisk or a hand held mixer, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Take care not to over-beat the cream or it will be grainy. Serve each pudding with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
Maple Whipped Cream
1 cup organic heavy cream
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
In a chilled bowl, use chilled mixers to beat the heavy cream until soft peaks begin to form. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and mix until just incorporated. Keep chilled until ready to serve.