I’m tiptoeing back into the world of dessert today. It may be just 10 days into 2014 but a burst of tropical flavor is just what I need. A little beacon of hope for future sunny days right on my spoon. It’s light and bright, in flavor and appearance. The white chocolate pudding is a sweet and delicate accent to the tart curd. The hint of ginger adds just enough extra zing to make you (and whomever you serve it to) sit up and pay attention.
The sunshine yellow curd on top isn’t just about the aesthetics. I like being able to change the ratio of pudding to curd in each bite, to get a full range of how the two flavors play off each other. I highly suggest you try that for a bit, even if you ultimately stir it all up.
Some people have issues with white chocolate. While I don’t eat it by the bar, I have no such hang-ups and encourage those who do to give it another try. I think a lot of it has to do with the baggage associated with its name. But I promise it’s not trying to be anything like the milk or dark chocolate you prefer. Let it be the simple, sweet, milky confection it wants to be. The curd elevates the flavor to be anything but one-dimensional.
- FOR PUDDING
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 2¼ cups whole milk
- 4½ ounces white chocolate, chopped
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- FOR CURD
- 4 limes
- ½-1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (use a microplane)
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over low heat and stir frequently in the beginning and constantly as it begins to thicken, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary, should lumps begin to form.
- After about 15 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- For perfectly silken texture, you can strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl with a spout, and pour into individual serving dishes. Chill in the fridge.
- Combine the eggs, ginger, and sugar in a small saucepan. Add the zest of two of the limes and the juice all four (about a half cup of juice). Whisk together well and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. Don’t stop mixing or it will get lumpy. Once the mixture is thick enough to hold the marks of the whisk, remove from heat. Stir in butter until fully incorporated. You can strain the curd at this point if you’re concerned about lumps or bits of ginger.
- Spread the curd mixture over the fully cooled pudding. Return to fridge until ready to serve.
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook