This began with a late night craving for vanilla pudding and, after a shaggy dog series of steps, evolved into some mighty fine layered popsicles.
Discovering how easy it is to make pudding from scratch was a revelation for me because I never have boxes of pudding mix lying around but I almost always have milk, cornstarch, sugar, and vanilla (or chocolate). The only problem is unlike instant pudding, pudding from scratch has to cool to properly set but usually whipping up chocolate pudding right before dinner is plenty of time. Not so on this particular day.
I think about making popsicles every time I pass the molds in the grocery store but I already have so many gadgets and pans I worry that my kitchen might explode from just one more wafer thin mint so I resist the urge. I know from my youth that popsicles made in ice-cube trays made with toothpicks are flimsy and fall apart- I’ve ended up cradling one of those in my hand more than once after it topped off its stick. Then it hit me- cupcake tins! Lined so you’ve got an emergency holder already on standby and a nice thick wooden handle (use tongue depressors instead of the skinny popsicle sticks. And it turns out they are pretty too.
For the cardamom vanilla pudding
- 2 cups milk (or 1/2 and 1/2)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 TBS corn starch
- 4 green cardamom pods- cracked
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Mix cornstarch and 1/2 cup of the milk in a medium sauce pan and combine until smooth add remaining milk and sugar and combine. Add cardamom (I completely shelled two of the pods)then heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is just simmering and it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add vanilla and remove from heat. Strain out cardamom pods.
After making the pudding eat about half of it before it has even properly chilled, then put the rest in the fridge for the popsicles. Or put it all in the fridge for popsicles and have twice as many popsicles.
For the middle coffee layer
- 1 cup strong coffee
- 1/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or milk
- 2 tsp sugar
brew one cup strong coffee and sugar and cream and allow to chill (or you could do like I did and throw it into the freezer until it’s completely frozen and then thaw it back out)
For the chocolate layer
make your favorite chocolate milk or hot chocolate and allow to chill (I used my spiced hot chocolate mix and milk, stirring until throughly combined- heat helps this but these popsicles were an exercise in lazy- it’s hot out there!
To assemble the popsicles line muffin tin with paper liners. Pour in enough vanilla pudding to fill each liner about half way. Freeze for about an hour then insert the popsicle sticks (I actually used tongue depressors cut in half). Allow to freeze completely then add the coffee layer- filling cups to about 3/4 full, allow the coffee layer to firmly set and then add the chocolate layer.
Serve once completely frozen.
Makes 12 cupcake popsicles
They are best the first day but will keep uncovered in the freezer for about 4 days. Of course, they won’t go bad after four days but ice crystals will begin to form and the top layer gets a bit spongy.
Any hints on storage are welcome. I’m new to this popsicle thing.