Hot Fudge Pudding w. Vanilla-Infused Whipped Cream

Yes, you read that correctly. Hot-fudge pudding is probably something you have had, even if you think you have never heard of it, I bet your mom or grandma or Sunday School teacher made it for you at some point. I gussied it up with some whipped cream that I infused with whole nutmeg and a vanilla bean; that inspiration came from an article in my April edition of bon appétit magazine. Delightful results, let me tell ya.

Hot Fudge Pudding

Hot Fudge Pudding w. Infused Whipped Cream // Serves 6-8

*Pudding recipe brought to you by my Auntie Christel via 'Our 50th Anniversary Cookbook' Evangelical Women Zion, Evangelical Church, Chilliwack B.C., 1991*

My slightly adapted version:

1 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c sugar

2 T + 1/4 c cocoa

1/2 c milk

2 T butter, melted

1 c packed brown sugar

1 c hot water + 3/4 c warm milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9" x 9" baking dish. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and 2 T cocoa. Stir in the 1/2 c milk and melted butter; spread batter into prepared pan. In a small bowl, toss together the 1/4 c cocoa and brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over batter. Combine the hot water and 3/4 c warm milk, then pour over the sugar mixture to cover completely. Carefully place the dish in the oven and bake until the top is cooked through and the chocolate is bubbling up from the bottom, 40-45 minutes (be sure to start your whipping cream infusing as soon as it goes in!). Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving to allow the 'fudge' to set up.

Folks, when this baby is baked, a supremely magical thing happens. The chocolatey cake batter cooks through to the top and the fudgy layer sinks to the bottom and the result is something that looks like it was way more difficult to accomplish than it was! And the taste, well, it's perfection. It's not too sweet or rich like you might imagine, and if you add on the whipped cream, it puts it and makes this childhood dessert a little more adult.

Infused Whipped Cream

My best friend travels the world, leading groups on these insanely opulent vacations, and I am so lucky to reap the benefits of treasures brought back. She gifted me some delicious vanilla beans from her recent trip to Madagascar and I incorporated them into this recipe. I also used a half of a nutmeg seed (I had to google what this is called because saying 'half a whole nutmeg' sounded strange to me). I use fresh nutmeg a lot so I had a seed that was already half-grated; if yours is whole, use a very sharp knife to VERY carefully crack it in half for this recipe. Not only does a little go a long way, but the flavor is better imparted when the inside is exposed. You may want to infuse the cream earlier in the day, so it's nice and chilled by the time dessert is out of the oven and you want to whip it up!

1 c whipping cream

1/2 vanilla bean 

1/2 of a whole nutmeg seed

Sugar for sweetening

Warm cream in a small saucepan until it's hot but do not allow it to come to a boil (appx 175 degrees); remove from heat.

Whipped Cream Infusion

Crack the nutmeg half into a couple pieces to better distribute the flavor and add to the warm cream along with the vanilla bean half. Swirl the cream a bit to incorporate and cover; let the mixture steep for about 20 minutes. Strain into a small bowl, reserving the vanilla bean and discarding the nutmeg. Split the bean in half lengthwise and use the back of a knife to scrape out all of the caviar from the inside and stir it into the cream; discard the bean.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Press a piece of plastic wrap right down onto the top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming, and place in refrigerator to chill well; can be made up to one day ahead. When you are ready to serve your dessert, place the chilled cream into a bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until it starts to thicken slightly, then add your sugar - I used about 1 tablespoon as I did not want it too sweet, but feel free to use however much you please! Continue to beat until it is a beautiful, thick consistency that holds its own. 

Serve atop the hot-fudge pudding, and admire the beautiful vanilla specks throughout your fancy infused whipped cream.

Pudding w. Whipped Cream

My husband loved this treat and he is 'not a dessert person' so I always count that as a win for me! I hope this recipe can put a smile on your loved one's face too, enjoy my friends!

With a full heart and an empty plate,