Thursday, February 21, 2013

Recipe 1: Pudding Parfait

This is a delicious and surprisingly light recipe.  To taste the pudding at its best, try to have all layers in each bite; the combination really compliments each other well.

Recipe: Makes 16 cups

2 small boxes of vanilla Jell-o instant pudding (or 1 large box)
1 small box of butterscotch Jell-o instant pudding
1 small box of chocolate Jell-o instant pudding
1 tub of Cool Whip
milk (as needed by the directions on the pudding boxes)  This could be 8 cups or more, depending on the amount of the vanilla pudding.

will also need:
a hand mixer
16 cups (preferably clear plastic ones)
a rubber spatula
a spoon

This pudding parfait is very easy to make; all you need are Jell-o instant pudding boxes, milk, and Cool Whip.  You will need to plan ahead though; for best results you must let the Cool Whip properly thaw for 4 hours, as stated on the tub.  Certainly, you can thaw on the counter, but the Cool Whip really does have a nicer and smoother consistency when properly thawed in the refrigerator. 

Follow the directions on the Jell-o pudding packages and chill each flavor in separate bowls.  More vanilla pudding is required than the other two flavors because the chocolate and butterscotch comes out thicker, so more vanilla is needed to balance it out. 

When I am mixing the pudding into the milk, I like to use a rubber spatula and try to break up the powder as much as possible manually; I find that you won't be left with powder on the side of the bowl, there will be less powder flying around once you use the hand mixer, and the most important, there won't be any powdery chunks in the finished product.

Once the powder is pretty well-dissolved, use the hand mixer to blend until the pudding thickens.

Immediately put the pudding into the refrigerator to chill.  The box says 5 minutes, but I like to let it chill a little longer, sometimes about 30 minutes longer.  Once the pudding is chilled to a desired temperature, it is time to start filling the cups.  I find that the best look is to have the colors go in a transition of lightest to darkest; the chocolate also has a nice contrast to the Cool Whip.   To fill the cups, simply use a spoon to drop the pudding in the cups; for a prettier finished result, try to avoid touching the sides of the cup with pudding.  As you're filling them, you can tap the bottom of the cup against the counter to even and flatten out the mound of pudding; this is just to give the finished product a nicer look.  Also, I usually drop the same number of spoonfuls into each cup, in an effort to keep the portions consistent.

Continue with each flavor, putting in the vanilla first, then butterscotch, then chocolate, then finally top the cups off with Cool Whip.  Be sure to keep the cups covered with plastic wrap or foil until they are ready to serve, in order to avoid having them oxidize and drying out.

Next, the best part - eating the pudding!  I really enjoy looking at the different layers of colors on the spoon, and when streaks are present, it somehow makes it even more appetizing to me.  Ahh, how the mind can play tricks... 

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