Bake the Book: Puddin'

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[Photograph: Ben Fink Photography]

Pudding, as a dessert, is largely overlooked. In a market saturated with cake pops, cupcakes, and pies, there scarcely seems to be any room for the more creamy and wiggly of sweets. And that's a shame, because pudding is easy to prepare, feeds a crowd, and can be made in almost any flavor. Clio Goodman is bringing pudding back with Puddin', recipes from her eponymous New York dessert shop.

Puddin' started with a chocolate pudding that Clio whipped up for dessert during a stint as a private chef. It soon became the household favorite, and prompted her to go into business making and selling puddings and other pudding-based treats. Everything in the shop, from the cake crumbs in the parfait layers to the whipped cream on the cakes, is made from scratch. And Puddin' shows you how to make it all.

The book does a good job of covering the classics, as well as showcasing twists on original flavors. Every flavor you'd expect is present and accounted for, but there are others, like Roasted Cashew Pudding, and Pumpkin Pie Pudding, that venture into previously uncharted territory, and succeed. It's clear that Clio knows her stuff, but doesn't let that cloud her technique; many of the recipes require mainly a handful of ingredients and a saucepan.

We're starting this feature nice and easy, with a deliciously creamy Chocolate Pudding to get you acquainted with Miss Goodman's technique (and maybe stir up some childhood memories). Next, we'll build on what we've learned to make Dulce de Leche Pudding, which uses gobs of homemade dulce de leche to form a pudding that is unputdownable.

Lastly, we'll craft Banana Upside Down Cake with Malted Pudding. Banana layer cake is stuffed with malted milk pudding and frosted with brown butter walnut buttercream. There are no words. So, pick up that whisk and let's get to it, puddin'.

Win A Copy!

Thanks to the generous folks over at Spiegel & Grau, we are giving away five (5) copies of Puddin' this week. All you have to do is tell us what your favorite flavor of pudding is. Don't have one? Invent it!

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