split level pudding 001

I’m a week behind with my baking, but here is my split level pudding in all it’s glory (finally!). Garrett of The Flavor of Vanilla chose Dorie‘s split level pudding for last week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. I must admit, I was pretty excited about this recipe. Actually, I get excited any time I hear the words “chocolate” and “ganache”.

The bottom layer is chocoate ganache which is simply bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream. The top layer was to be a vanilla pudding. I wanted to get a little creative and I thought hazelnut pudding would be interesting. So, I reduced the amount of vanilla extract to 1 tsp. (the original recipe calls for 2 1/4 tsp.). I added 1 1/4 tsp. of hazelnut syrup (we had Torani’s on hand) to the mix and voila! Plain ol’ vanilla pudding transformed into a creamy, slightly nutty silken dessert.

split level pudding 006

Dorie recommends using a food processor to get the smoothest pudding. There was some debate about this on the TWD forum. Some bakers used the food processor and were pleased with the results. Others found the food processor to be too harsh for the pudding. While others opted to whisk by hand and still others used blenders. I used my food processor and had no problem whatsoever. However, if you’re concerned about overprocessing your pudding, check out this tip from “Romaine” of Salad in a Jar (pay her a visit, but have a napkin handy to sop up your drool):

“Here’s a tip for a fast, foolproof way to cook the vanilla pudding.
Dump the first 5 ingredients for the pudding in a blender or food processor and mix briefly till smooth. Transfer to a 2 qt. batter bowl. Microwave on HIGH 6 minutes. Stop and whisk well after 2 minutes, then after every minute, then every 30 seconds the last 1 minute. In other words, whisk more often the longer it’s in the oven. (Time may vary according to the power of your microwave. Watch it till you know.) Then pour back into the blender or food processor to blend in the butter and vanilla per Dorie’s instructions.
I always make my pudding and cream pie filling this way. Never burns–always silky smooth.”

I highly suggest you saunter over to Garrett’s place for the recipe. While you’re at it, visit the other TWD bakers and give ’em some love. Who knows, you might find someone who bakes for comments!

I have a commitment-free weekend coming up so I’m looking forward to baking my tail off. Well, it doesn’t work that way, but a girl can dream, right? 😉