This week's Baking With Dorie challenge was selected by Susi of Susi's Kochen und Backen. She chose Split Level Pudding which is a vanilla pudding that has been layered over ganache.
I have never made pudding from scratch before, and I honestly expected something to go horribly wrong. Amongst many other doom-filled scenarios; I envisioned myself whisking away at a lumpy, stubborn mess that would refuse to relent. Or a slippery, slimy one that wouldn't set up after hours of refrigeration.
But my pudding was almost perfect. I am saying 'almost' only because, for the Ganache layer, I used Lindt's dark chocolate with 70% cocoa and somehow, the bitterness from the chocolate really stood out and didn't blend well with the flavor of the pudding itself.
But that being said, this pudding does taste dreamy. Had I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead; the pudding might have tasted even better.
It is a little labor intensive because you first make the pudding in a saucepan and then blend it in a food-processor, returning to the saucepan yet again to cook the pudding till it thickens. Dorie recommends processing it one last time to ensure a uniformly smooth texture.
And the texture is smooth, though it firms up a little after refrigeration. The ganache layer didn't harden at all while the pudding was cooling in the fridge (I had assumed that it would), but you do have to work at digging it out.
I still can't believe I made this wonderful pudding and am secretly very impressed with myself! I would make this again & again with other variations suggested by Dorie Greenspan and a twist that I've thought of myself.
The recipe can be found on Pages 384-385 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours. Or on Susi's blog. If you would like to join the challenge, please email me at needfulthings at ymail dot com. We'd love to have you bake along with us.