I feel a bit special. I was just given a new cookbook by a friend at a publishing company. As in, a NEW cookbook, that isn’t even available to buy yet! Pretty cool, if you ask me! The Perfect Finish by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark will be available on June 7 and is definitely worth checking out. Bill Yosses is the pastry chef at the White House, and knows desserts. The books is full of great photographs of many of the recipes, and has recipes that range from pretty fool proof to ridiculously elaborate. Justin found a gorgeous picture of a Red Eye Devil’s Food Cake he wanted me to make, covered in chocolate curls. However, he hadn’t flipped to the next page – showing the full EIGHT layers of the cake. Let’s just say I wasn’t in the kind of mood that attempting that was a good idea.
The very first recipe that jumped out to us as we paged through it though, was this Dulce de Leche pudding. It really does fall onto the easy end of the spectrum, and I had all the ingredients on hand (I know, Jim, who has Dulce de Leche on hand?!). It came together quickly and without any mishaps, though I didn’t quite have the full amount of cornstarch that the recipe called for (a HALF a CUP?! Seriously? What recipe calls for more than 2 tablespoons of cornstarch?!). The flavor was excellent. The dulce de leche and vanilla bean pair wonderfully together, and almost give the pudding a hint of spice, of something more than is really there.
But here’s the thing. I always feel like putting cornstarch in a custard or a pudding is a cheater step. It helps thicken without extra eggs or milk fat. Which sure, I guess helps keeps the calories and fat in check, but you definitely sacrifice some of the luxury and comfort that comes from a perfectly smooth, rich pudding. And since I didn’t quite have a full half cup, the pudding didn’t set up as thick as it should have. I think, rather than using all the cornstarch (if any) I’ll add an extra egg yolk and use half and half, or even heavy cream, rather than whole milk. But the dulce de lech and vanilla bean? Oh yea. Those are definitely staying around.
Next recipe on the docket to try from this book? Chocolate Chip Nutella Cookies. That just sounds like all kinds of tasty.