Pudding Findings

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Soo long story short, SC made an olive oil ice cream that didn’t quite set up, so I added some milk and flour, turned it into a custard, and experimented with making puddings! Left one with the diluted olive oil flavor , made another with butter extract, vanilla extract, and almond extract to start playing around with cake batter flavors 😛

Didn’t really use a recipe and don’t want to go through allll my steps (there was a lot of waiting, freezing, re-cooking the next day, etc.) buttt I needed to summarize my findings hehe.

1 THICKENING AGENT/FLAVOR/TEXTURE (AP FLOUR VS CAKE FLOUR VS CORNSTARCH) Used cake flour. It can definitely thicken well, IF cooked long enough. Can be re-cooked. Can be frozen and re-cooked (though only about 90% as smooth). Won’t taste chalky if done right. Maybe forms less of a skin? Need to compare to cornstarch

2 FAT CONTENT/TRANSPARENCY (2%, WHOLE VS HALFHALF VS HEAVY CREAM VS HEAVY CREAM FOLDED IN) Two percent doesn’t look great transparency-wise, I prefer something that looks more opaque. Whole milk looked better from what I remember. I would also think that folding in heavy cream or adding a splash in during cooking could help in terms of transparency if using 2%. I also noticed it gets a bit brighter after freezing, wasn’t expecting that! I don’t know how much transparency is affected by the thickening agent. 

3 FREEZE/THAW Freezing makes it grainy to the point where a second strain is not enough to help, though a re-cook and re-strain might. Don’t know if cornstarch puddings can be frozen.

4 RE-COOK Fine to re-cook after the pudding has “set” overnight, if there’s a chalky taste you suddenly notice. Fine to re-cook after freezing to remove graininess.

5 SET/THICKENING The final thickening/set is increased by cook time and fat content, but I THINK is driven by quantity of thickening agent relative to eggs and milk, ultimately. Once agent is cooked fully, a few reads tell me it is possible to over-stir and thin out the pudding to the point of weeping (apparently easier with cornstarch to do this), but not necessarily over-thicken with an increased cook time, especially once most of your moisture has evaporated anyway. Just cook ~2 minutes after FULL boil starts, until BIG bubbles appear!!!! If it is still in the process of thickening, it’s not fully cooked!!

Other reads (KAF) tell me that if using only eggs and no thickening agent, the mixture should be completely set by  180F and if they go past that point, eggs have the potential to over-coagulate and break down. If doesn’t set at that temperature, the original egg:milk/cream ratio was too high and should be no less than 1 egg: 2/3 cup of milk/cream.

For 2 cups of liquid, I believe my ideal set will be attained from 1/4-3/8 C flour. I prefer a loose set. The ratio is based on SK and CBoss recipes, as well as my own experience. A little difficult to predict because of the yolk variable, but SK uses 1 cup milk : 3 yolk

Can’t tell what final “set” will look like from pan alone.

Cornstarch 2x strong as flour, supposedly.

6 BUTTER Didn’t play around with this as a variable, had enough going on–next time!

7 COOKING TECHNIQUE Must strain, must whisk constantly. Don’t need to take on and off heat (assuming you are are a reasonably medium heat).

Need to try cornstarch, with and without butter. Cornstarch frozen and thawed.

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