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Thread: help! - thickening pudding after cooking/refrigerating?

  1. #1
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    help! - thickening pudding after cooking/refrigerating?

    i'm hoping to appeal to all the cooking experience on these boards as i know you won't let me down.

    background:
    we have guests coming for dinner tonight, one of which has egg allergies. as such, for dessert i decided to go with a simple chocolate pudding that was eggless. specifically smitten kitchen's best chocolate pudding (see here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/02/be...olate-pudding/). since the guests are arriving at 7 PM tonight & i won't be home from work until 5:30 or so, i went ahead & made the pudding last night.

    i've never cooked pudding in my life. i thought it didn't seem thick enough as it really seemed more like hot chocolate. i hoped, prayed, & all that jazz that it would thicken in the fridge overnight. but to my sinking discovery this morning, it is still like liquid hot chocolate.

    my question is whether i can fix this?! DH offered to try to cook it longer to thicken (as he's home this afternoon) but i'm afraid that would change the texture, especially after already being refrigerated.

    we already have a quart of heavy cream that i intended to make into sweetened whipped cream for topping the tiny graham crusts + pudding. if i can't fix this, i can conceivably do my fallback chocolate spiced cream from that, throw it into the crusts & garnish with chocolate shavings. but i think that's awful rich.

    i called trader joe's to see if their belgian chocolate pudding (which i think is to die for as far as readymade pudding goes) has eggs & it does, so no go on that. i won't have time to do much of anything when i get home as DH is responsible for the pork roast & i'm responsible for the sides & all must be done when guests arrive.

    shall i try to salvage or go with plan B (chocolate spiced cream)?!
    What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?

  2. #2
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    He could try heating it, taking some out and whisking in more cornstarch, and then adding it into the rest of the mixture. If you're looking for easy/quick replacement, how about a box of instant pudding?

  3. #3
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    I had this happen once, and I put it back on the stove to cook longer and it thickened up. Keep whisking and it will hopefully thicken up. I have one recipe that takes significantly longer than the recipe states, so if you used the timing stated in the recipe, it may just be that.

    Good luck!
    “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed
    door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

    Helen Keller (1880–1968)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaraW View Post
    I had this happen once, and I put it back on the stove to cook longer and it thickened up. Keep whisking and it will hopefully thicken up. I have one recipe that takes significantly longer than the recipe states, so if you used the timing stated in the recipe, it may just be that.

    Good luck!
    thanks for the info - did you reheat after it had been refrigerated? i'm concerned whether it will affect the consistency.
    What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?

  5. #5
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    I think heating it after being chilled will break down the proteins and look curdled...
    I would make a new batch. The thing with cornstarch is that as soon as the mixture boils you have to remove from the heat. If you keep cooking it and letting it boil more trying to thicken it the cornstarch separates and mixture becomes liquidy again.
    Do you have time to make another one?
    You could try making the tofu chocolate pudding/mousse, those are super quick to make and cool down super fast. There is no eggs in it and tastes delicious, I promise no one will know there is tofu in there. I have served it at parties and everyone raved, unless asked for the recipe I never say a thing.
    Let me know if you would like the recipe, it is on my blog.
    Ana

  6. #6
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    unfortunately i don't have time to make another which is why plan B is in the mix. i won't be getting home until after 5:30 & the guests are arriving at 7 PM. we'll be doing all the other mealtime preps/cooking just before they arrive, hence why i tried to get the pudding done last night so that was complete.

    (friday night would not have been the first choice for dinner but this couple has difficult schedules to work around & otherwise it would have been squeezed into the christmas preparation season in mid-december -- no thanks!)

    DH is going to try reheating over low heat while whisking. if that doesn't thicken then we'll have the thick whipped cocoa cream instead. the good thing (??) is that our guests aren't particular foodies & will probably just be glad to not being eating a frozen meal!

    that's me looking on the bright side. besides, if it doesn't thicken, DH & i will have it as super-rich hot chocolate to treat ourselves tomorrow night.
    What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aninha View Post
    You could try making the tofu chocolate pudding/mousse, those are super quick to make and cool down super fast. There is no eggs in it and tastes delicious, I promise no one will know there is tofu in there. I have served it at parties and everyone raved, unless asked for the recipe I never say a thing.
    Let me know if you would like the recipe, it is on my blog.
    Ana
    by the way, i've actually had tofu chocolate mousse that is fabulous (whole foods' is great in a pinch) so i'm not worried about it. i was considering making that before i found the smitten kitchen no-egg chocolate pudding recipe.

    as for the boiling, there is no boiling with this. only in a double-boiler over low-simmering water. i did it with my typical glass bowl over simmering water which i've used countless times for other things with nary an issue. but i'm thinking that may have contributed to the flop. perhaps it's time to invest in a double-boiler.
    What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?

  8. #8
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    I'm thinking your indirect heat, meant to be gentle and not scorch the mixture, just didn't get the mixture hot enough to get the desired change. I'd try heating it again -- if you're brave, go for directly in a pot over low heat, and if not, do the double boiler method and just be patient. When it has thickened, it will still be softer because it is hot, but it will noticeably coat the spoon or whisk -- definitely thicker than hot chocolate.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beth View Post
    I'm thinking your indirect heat, meant to be gentle and not scorch the mixture, just didn't get the mixture hot enough to get the desired change. I'd try heating it again -- if you're brave, go for directly in a pot over low heat, and if not, do the double boiler method and just be patient. When it has thickened, it will still be softer because it is hot, but it will noticeably coat the spoon or whisk -- definitely thicker than hot chocolate.
    Now that you mentioned the double boiler I agree with Beth that the heat was too gentle and not enough to thicken the custard. If trying to reheat I would definitely do it directly on the pan.
    Ana

  10. #10
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    success! DH just called me to alleviate my concern. he heated it in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally & whisking once it started bubbling. he said it thickened up considerably to a pudding-like consistency.

    thanks for all the responses. i think next time i'll go for the pot rather than double-boiler (or in my case fake double-boiler). i've always found smitten kitchen's recipes to be spot-on & i've never made cooked pudding before so i had no idea what to expect. now i know!

    i'll report back on taste/texture in case this happens to anybody else & they should need to go for round two on pudding.
    What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?

  11. #11
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    Yay, I am happy for you! And glad to know it works to reheat un-thickened pudding!
    Ana

  12. #12
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    make it work

    Hi
    I am sure I am to late for dinner time but
    I would still like to ramble a little and try to "fix" something as I might imagine myself in my own kitchen doing this same thing.
    Here goes and my first thought would have been to gently heat it in the microwave in short bursts testing to see if it were thickening? NO I now would heat a small amount of cream 1/2 n 1/2 or milk in the microwave and added a little more starch ,I used to use tapioca starch a lot and it is perfect for this because it sets fast and is a little gummy, I now blend this into the warm mix and stir and even heating a little more until it "sets".
    O.K. next thought would have been to make chocolate rice pudding from it .I used to use a lot of short rice (sweet)and it is perfect for this. Just white rice would also be fine . As the short rice cools it sets up ,I have cooked it in a can of coconut milk and then added fruit and small amounts of starch to make what I have been calling homemade ice cream for yrs.
    In my panic of not having pudding set for guests I may have used it for a simple bread pudding? just using cubed bread some sugar ,milk a little more starch and the chocolate mixture and baking and then cooling and serving in squares with a vanilla wafer or cookie .
    Still in a panic ? I also used to keep plain tapioca around and I would have cooked the tapioca and used the chocolate mixture to make basic pudding and placed in custard bowls and thrown them in the freezer ,then popped them out and served in a small bowl .
    If I was still in doubt I may have just been honest and warmed this up again and served in my best tea cups with a straw and garnish ,cookie etc. and said it is LIQUID pudding ,don't you just love it ,IT is all the rage now in the cooking mags ,or this is how my grandma always made it and I was just thinking of her today.
    Remaking it with that instant pudding added to it is by far the easiest fix as someone suggested though . Food gotta love it . Rick Wichita Ks.
    http://community.cookinglight.com/sh...t=dessert+rice
    "IT'S NOT THE CRAZY PEOPLE YOU WORRY ABOUT ...IT'S THE ONES THAT DON'T KNOW IT" R.C.
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  13. #13
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    Glad to know it worked out. Enjoy your dinner!

  14. #14
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    thanks for the additional suggestions & well wishes.

    i am happy to report that there was no noticeable issue with the pudding when heated again to thicken after being refrigerated. my DH did over-thicken it a bit but i wasn't complaining. our guest with the egg allergies raved about how it was the best homemade egg-free chocolate pudding he'd had as he'd tried several other recipes. so, it went over well, i'm happy to report.

    next time we would not thicken as much but the flavor was delicious & the texture was smooth (if a bith thick). i wasn't complaining since DH was a big help on it & allowed me to concentrate on the remainder of our meal for the guests.

    quick conclusion - it can work to reheat pudding after it's been refrigerated in order to thicken it. the more you know & all that ....
    What am I? Flypaper for Freaks?

  15. #15

    Thumbs up Thicken Pudding

    This exact thig happend to me, cook it in a pot on the stove on low, make sure you stir every once in a while. It really works! Dont let it get the skin/layer on the top. Put plastic wrap directy on it before you put it in the fridge. Try to let it cool down before you put it in the fride but keep stirring it or else it gets some chunks and weird texture in it.

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