Decades of mediocre mass-produced boxed pudding have led us to believe this dessert is difficult and time-consuming to prepare. Not true! Real pudding is easy to make and much tastier than pudding made from a boxed mix. Preparing it from scratch allows you to try different flavor combinations you won't find on the supermarket shelf. It takes less than 30 minutes to make (not including chilling), and can easily be made the day before serving.
This is my recipe for Chai Latte pudding. While most Chai Lattes use black tea, I have chosen to use green tea. The more mellow flavor allows you to taste the tea and spices in harmony.
Ingredients For Four Servings
- 1/4 cup of loose green tea
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon of orange zest
- 2 cups of whole milk
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 4 teaspoons of cornstarch
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Use a mortar and pestle to crush the star anise, peppercorns, cloves and cardamom. Put into a non-reactive saucepan along with 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the orange zest and sugar. Bring to a simmer, slowly for optimal flavor extraction. Remove from heat, add the green tea, cover and leave to steep for three minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, the cornstarch, egg yolks, sea salt and vanilla in a bowl. After the three minutes have passed, strain the hot mixture. Gradually add the hot mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and continue whisking until the pudding is thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour into serving containers, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before eating.
Tips and Suggestions
For an attractive presentation, chill the pudding in tea cups. Top with freshly whipped cream and ground cinnamon or nutmeg.
Constant whisking is crucial to prevent premature coagulation of the eggs. Failure to do so will result in small bits of scrambled eggs in your pudding.
Always remember this never-failing rule of cookery: bad ingredients will always make bad food while great ingredients coupled with proper technique can make outstanding food. Choose your ingredients wisely.
Heather Krasovec own and maintains an informative site about green tea health benefits, http://drinkgreenteaforhealth.com/, which also features an incredible selection of the finest organic green tea available