If you know me well, you probably know that if you call, text, message, or email me, it may be days (or, I’m embarrassed to say, sometimes weeks) until I respond. It’s not for lack of thought. I replay the correspondence in my head a million times and search for the perfect response. In fact, I respond so many times in my head, I think I’ve actually responded. It’s a problem.
I’m the same way when it comes to this space. Comments fly around in my head while I search for a personal and thoughtful response to each. Most times you’re left with radio silence. But it’s not for lack of thought. I think it’s a bit of perfectionism and the need to disconnect from the www all wrapped into one. That’s a deadly combination for communication these days. But with my pinky held high, I promise I’m working on it.
On December 18, 2012, Mary Ann left a comment requesting a butterscotch pudding in time for her birthday in February. 2012! Mary Ann, are you out there? I’m 2 years and a couple birthday’s late, but here’s that recipe just in time for your half birthday. I think it was worth the wait.
Though I can’t take much credit for it. The recipe comes from my friend Nicole Spiridakis’s new book, Flourless—a naturally gluten-free dessert cookbook (you probably know her as Cucina Nicolina). The book is brilliant and fit for every kitchen, whether you ascribe to a GF diet or not. She uses common everyday ingredients, like cornstarch, nuts (to make nut flour), and cornmeal, which are all naturally gluten free. Say it with me now, Brilliant!
This recipe is actually a marriage of two of her recipes that sit side-by-side in the book. I couldn’t decide what to make first. Easy Chocolate Pudding sat on one side of the page with Butterscotch Pudding + Banana Whip on the other. My chocolate craving was strong but the lure of Banana Whipped Cream was even stronger. Then I found myself half way through making the butterscotch pudding with a handful of chocolate chips in my hand and decided, heck, you can never go wrong with chocolate. So in went the chocolate, and the rest is history. Nicole, forgive me for hacking away at this perfectly composed butterscotch pudding.
I hacked away even more and saved the leftover caramelized bits from cooking the bananas (maybe my favorite part) to sprinkle over the pudding before serving. That and another tiny handful of chocolate. This dessert is one for the books. Now it’s your turn. Put out your pinky and promise me you’ll add this to the menu soon. Gluten-free never tasted so good.
This recipe comes from Nicole Spiridakis’s book, Flourless, a naturally gluten-free dessert cookbook. The recipe is originally a butterscotch pudding with banana whipped cream. The chocolate was a last minute addition after seeing chocolate pudding on the page prior. One thing I’ve learned in life, you can never go wrong by adding chocolate. Never. This dessert is a perfect make-ahead recipe. It comes together in less than 10 minutes and needs at least 2 hours to set up. You can even make it with a crawling baby at your feet.
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. dark chocolate, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 ripe banana, sloced
1 c. heavy cream
Make pudding. In a medium saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in milk and heavy cream. Cooking on medium heat, whisk occasionally. Heat milk mixture to a boil. Whisk continually for one minute. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate (optional), butter, and vanilla. Pour into individual serving dishes and cover with wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Make banana whip. About 20 minutes before serving, melt butter and sugar in a medium frying pan. Once hot and bubbly, add banana slices, cooking for 1 minute on each side. Remove from pan and allow to cool, reserving leftover caramelized bits. Meanwhile, whip cream until soft peaks form. Once bananas have cooled, lightly chop and fold into whipped cream. If you wish (and I wish), break apart the leftover caramelized bits small enough to garnish.
Assemble. Remove pudding from fridge. Top with banana whip and garnish with caramelized bits and chocolate chunks.
Everyone needs this book on their shelf, whether you ascribe to a gluten-free diet or not, because your best friend down the street probably does. She wants to come over for dessert too. These recipes are stress-free. The ingredients are common. Bake the way you’re used to, just nix the gluten, naturally.