Pudding for a Rainy Day

It seems like lately just about every weekend here in LA has been rainy. While I love the rain, I do miss the California sun. Rainy days make me crave comfort and warmth. I love to curl up on the couch with a warm blanket and a creamy pudding and listen to the rainfall. Here are a few pudding recipes to get you through those rainy days.

Salted Caramel Pot de Crème

I love caramel. To me, heaven is a salted caramel pot de crème. Each bite is velvety and rich. I dotted this pot de crème with a soft Australian River Salt that melts in your mouth. The salt was delicate and flaky and perfectly complimented the buttery caramel. This dessert is the embodiment of simplicity.

Recipe from Bon Appetite January 1998

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

1 3/4 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup whole milk

6 large egg yolks

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Place six 2/3-cup soufflé dishes or 3/4-cup custard cups in large roasting pan. Combine sugar and water in heavy large saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until deep amber, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan, about 6 minutes. Gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups cream and milk (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until caramel dissolves, about 2 minutes.

Beat yolks in large bowl until foamy. Gradually whisk in warm caramel. Strain into 4-cup glass measuring cup. Divide among dishes. Pour enough hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dishes. Cover pan with foil. Bake until custard is just set at edges but still moves in center when shaken gently, about 1 hour. Remove from water; cool on rack. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)

Beat 1/4 cup cream in small bowl until soft peaks form. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe 1 rosette in center of each custard. Serve chilled.

Café Au Lait Pudding

If you love coffee like I do, this Café Au Lait pudding is for you. It is tantalizing and creamy. Not cloyingly sweet like some puddings tend to be, this pudding is just dreamy. The delicate coffee flavors linger on the palate. Milky, rich and understated, it is everything a pudding should be.

Recipe from Gourmet November 2009

2 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar, divided

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon or nutmeg for sprinkling

Whisk together milk, coffee granules, cornstarch, 1/4 cup sugar, and a small pinch of salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Transfer to a metal bowl set in an ice bath and cool, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Pour into cups or ramekins and chill, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Beat cream with vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoon sugar using an electric mixer just until soft peaks form. Spoon whipped cream onto puddings and dust cream lightly with cinnamon.

Panna Cotta with Citrus Compote

Panna cotta is so simple to make, I can’t believe I have never made it before. It takes only five minutes to cook the cream and mix it with the gelatin. The mixture sets in the refrigerator for about four hours and the panna cotta is ready to be served. It is silky and lush. It has a delicate vanilla flavor that pairs harmoniously with a number of toppings. Since citrus is abundant at local farmers markets right now, I decided to make a citrus compote with mandarins and blood oranges. The contrast of sweetness from the mandarins and a nice zesty tang from the blood oranges was the perfect accompaniment to the panna cotta. This dessert is a dense mouthful of bright luscious flavors. Snuggle up, dig down, scoop up and savor each bite.

Recipe from David Lebovitz

4 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean

2 packets powdered gelatin

6 tablespoons cold water

1. Heat the heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan or microwave. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.(If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the bean pod. Cover, and let infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the bean then rewarm the mixture before continuing.)

2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral-tasting oil.

3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, which will take at least two hours but I let them stand at least four hours.

6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnish as desired.


  1. That cafe au lait pudding looks amazing!! I wish I had that for breakfast!

  2. These puddings looks so good! I think I'll try the cafe au lait one this week. thanks! :)

  3. Oooh, the cafe au lait and salted caramel are the ones!

  4. Jessica- The cafe au lait pudding is so simple to make! Just be sure to completely whisk together the corn starch or you get weird little clumps in your pudding. I bet this would make for a tasty substitution to the morning coffee =)!

    aforaubergine- You should definitely try this recipe you will be licking up pudding in no time! Glad you liked it.

  5. You and I definitely need to make a Huckleberry date for their salted caramel when Lent is over. You will DIE! :)

  6. A salted caramel pot de crème is my idea of heaven too. And I must join you and D at Huckleberry!

  7. someone's been busy! they all look great :)

  8. Yum... and I love the little glass pot for the pudding!

  9. Duo dishes- you are going to love the cafe au lait, and so simple you will laugh!

    CookieRookie- Thank you!

    Diana- Please take me =)

    Cathy- Please come! D takes a B can watch us drool over the caramel and then say I told ya so =)

    BreEatsChicago- Baking is my stress relief hehe so I spend a lot of time in the kitchen!

    Megan- I bought this amazing Italian yogurt at Wholefoods and they came in those glass jars so I saved them. I love their shape and size!

  10. Gosh, what a decadent selection...yum yum yum! Love your jars too. Beautiful post!

  11. Ooh, cafe au lait pudding is a definite rainy day dessert!

    You know, I've been considering moving to LA specifically for the weather (these nyc winters are killin me!) Does that seem ridiculous?

  12. you make the puddings recipe sound so easy. I may be tempted to try it. :)

  13. Oh beautiful desserts, I love pots de crème, so tempting, hmmmm

  14. This would be perfect for me today, cause it is so rainy here in Orlando, but it usually is.

  15. I can almost taste that salt melting on my tongue after taking a bite of this pot de creme. Absolutely fluffy and lovely.

  16. OH wow how effin cute is the cafe au lait pudding in a jar? I love the presentation :) :)

  17. Deeba- they were so yum yum yummy =)

    Erika- i've got to say nothing beats LA weather, it as pretty rare that we had so much rain, but it did provide so much inspiration to make all this pudding =)

    jeroxie- it is seriously easy. when you make these recipes you will just laugh at the fact that you've never made them before!

    citronetvanille- i too love pots de creme just so satisfying and velvety

    angie- i hope you stayed dry and enjoyed some pudding in the rain!

    jenny- the Australian river salt really does melt on your tough it is so light and flaky i love it with desserts!

    catty- thanks! i love those little jars too =)

  18. Nice jars! Where did you purchase them?

    Loving your recipes! Will try the citrus compote soon. Last time I made panna cotta I made a berry one, but citrus sounds so perfect for Spring!

  19. Oh my this looks like a girl party. All puddingly and creamy dreamy. I love love caramel. Me too in never making panna cotta. I have always avoided thing that need gelatin, but I must try these desserts.

    Love your use of the word "cloyingly." xo

  20. Congrats on no longer being a panna cotta virgin :) I was in the same camp for a while too!
    All that fruit on top looks great.

    Btw, I've successfully frozen panna cotta and then ate it straight from the freezer like ice cream.

  21. Nice use of the Spega Yogurt glass jars!!!

  22. You remind me of this friend who is obsessed with puddings, hee hee.
    I just made rice pudding. Certainly not as fancy as yours!

  23. hi, would you like to tell me where did u purchase that small glasse container in melbourne?


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