I had a ton of leftover cornstarch from a video project. We needed to recreate snow, and cornstarch works well as a snow substitute. However, once the video was in the can, I had to figure out what to do with all unused cornstarch. I gave a box to a friend, and I’ve been using it as a flour substitute in some of my cooking recipes. It’s worked well. I also prefer cornstarch over flour for sauces and gravies. All of this helped, but I still have a bunch of leftover cornstarch.
I soon found a pudding recipe that wasn’t bad, but of course I had to go in and make a few changes to make it better. It’s easy to prepare and it makes a tasty dessert. Best of all, you probably already have the ingredients in your pantries.
chocolate cornstarch pudding
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
Stir sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt together in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk and turn heat to medium, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened enough to coat the spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool briefly, stirring occasionally as the pudding cools to avoid a skin forming on the top. Serve warm or chilled. A pat of butter may be added if serving warm.
*Almond or coconut extract may be used instead of vanilla.
This classic dessert from the pages of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook is one many of your grandmothers may have made. I tried it, and it’s delicious. What I really like about many of these historic dessert recipes is that they’re sweet, but not sugar-laden.
REFRIGERATOR BREAD PUDDING
1 envelope plain gelatin
2 cups milk
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup or 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 slices white bread (2 1/2 cups cubed)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
nutmeg, if desired
Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold milk. Scald remaining milk with corn syrup (or sugar) and salt in double boiler. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove crusts and cut slices of bread into cubes. Pour hot milk slowly over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler. Add bread cubes and cook until custard consistency, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with rotary beater until frothy. Turn into one large (or individual molds) that have been rinsed in cold water first. Chill. When firm, un-mold and serve with cream or any sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
Modern adaptation: Be careful not boil the milk. The beaten eggs can be slowly added to the milk mixture in the double boiler, stirring constantly as directed in the original recipe, until they are well blended. To give the pudding a bolder flavor add 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 nutmeg with the vanilla. The pudding can also be poured into ramekins and served with whipped cream, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top, as suggested in the original historic recipe.