Friday, June 24, 2011

"National Chocolate Pudding Day"

As my readers know, I like to mark the celebration of certain holidays and special food days so this weekend is no different it is “National Chocolate Pudding Day” on June 26. In America, chocolate pudding is a chocolate flavored custard. In Britain, chocolate pudding is more of a dense cake, and the word "pudding" itself can be a generic term for "dessert.” Mostly all English puddings begin with the same basic ingredients such as milk, sugar, eggs, flour and butter. They also involve fresh fruit like raspberries, strawberries, custard, and cream. In Italy, Nutella is the brand name of a hazelnut flavored sweet spread by the Italian company Ferrero who introduced Nutella in 1963. This tasty unique spread is made from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa, plus it doesn’t have any artificial colors and preservatives. There are a number of ways to enjoy this luscious chocolate, but mostly with its creamy texture it is usually spread on bread and will delight your taste buds with each bite. The estimated Italian production of Nutella averages 179,000 tons per year and is sold in 75 countries. February 5th is “World Nutella Day” which is a day to celebrate, to get creative with and most importantly, to eat Nutella.

Now, back here in the United States, celebrating any type of chocolate is wonderful. If you are a true chocoholic like me, who craves and consumes chocolate any way you can this is for you. Do you love chocolate? Do you truly believe that chocolate makes every day a better day? Does the mere thought of chocolate make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? If you answered YES to any of the above, then this is the recipe for you. A cool summer treat.

I have always loved chocolate pudding, whether it is in a fancy parfait dish with whipped cream or in a pie with a graham cracker crust. I grew up with the cooked variety of chocolate pudding in a box. We never make the instant, as my Mom used to say that the consistency was different from the cook and serve. Then there was the little pudding cups from the store, but they were not the same as the kind you have to cook either. My-T-Fine or Jell-O pudding and pie filling was the only ones that we would buy in the supermarket. You had to add milk to the pudding and cook it on the stovetop. This pudding and pie filling is in a class by it’s self. It just seemed to be just richer and creamier than what the grocery stores carried. It cost a few cents more, but I will bet you never go back to the other brands once you have tried it. Chocolate pudding was not the only one that we would buy. My-T-Fine and Jell-O also had Vanilla and a Lemon pie filling which you could make a velvety smooth Lemon Meringue Pie. A nostalgic comfort food that brings back fond childhood memories. Who doesn't love the soft, creamy texture of old-fashioned puddings?

Therefore, it is a perfect fun day to celebrate with people young and old alike. Celebrating National Chocolate Pudding Day can add some lighthearted and delicious fun to what might be just another day in June. This recipe that I have for you this week is one of my all time favorites. My Mom taught me how to make this recipe and we used to make it in the summer, as it was a cool and refreshing dessert. Ice Box Pudding Cake, is so simple and easy but it is the best on a hot summers night, just enough to cool you off. This recipe is made using My-T-Fine or Jell-O brand Chocolate and Vanilla pudding (cook and serve). It also adds the texture of graham crackers and whipped cream. You can also make this in a larger dish and it can be served as a dessert for BBQ’s and for picnics. It truly is a great comfort food and people of all ages love it. So, enjoy “National Pudding Day” and create many memories with chocolate pudding.

As a fun activity to do while you are waiting for your pudding to set up in the refrigerator, is to try this crossword puzzle with a theme of Cooking Utensils. I will post the answers in next weeks Blog. So, make sure you come back and see if you have all the answers correct.

2. The last of the common eating utensils to be developed.
5. Cook red cabbage in this and the cabbage turns blue.
8. A shallow concave container for particular type of custard pie.
10. A pan for making miniature muffins.
11. Metal cooking vessel, usually with a handle.
12. Metal or pottery that has been overlaid with a hard, glassy substance.
14. A communal social activity, a piece of electronic equipment, and a cooking appliance.
15. To separate lumps from a powdered material.
16. A Canadian ground pork, veal and onion pie, sometimes served cold.
19. A deep, round metal cooking utensil with one long handle.
20. Poultry cutter

1. Cooking hole.
3. Kitchen appliance.
4. According to many, the most important kitchen utensil.
5. An aviation, baseball, and food processing term.
6. The single, central kernel or stone of certain fruits.
7. A large young chicken over 3 1/2 lb.
9. Made of heat-resistant material and used for cooking.
10. A gadget for extracting juice from a species of Allium.
11. Goes with vegetable, potato and apple.
13. Atomic number 13.
14. A fungus.
15. Paella pan.
17. An earthenware pot used to cook stews in Spain, Central & South America.
18. The goat god.
Ice Box Pudding Cake


2 boxes (5.9 oz size) Cook & Serve Chocolate Pudding (NOT INSTANT)
2 boxes (5.9 oz size) Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding (NOT INSTANT)
8 cups of whole milk
1 box (15 oz size) plain graham crackers
1 16 oz Cool Whip or whipped cream of your choice
1 11 x 7 inch glass baking dish


Prepare the pudding according to the directions on the box for each flavor. Layer the glass-baking dish with graham crackers. (break the crackers, if necessary to fit the pan) Spread a layer of warm pudding on the top of graham crackers (use the chocolate for the first layer) Put another layer of graham crackers on top of chocolate. Then spread a layer of warm vanilla pudding on the top of graham crackers. Now cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours. The last thing to do is crush some graham crackers and sprinkle over the top of last layer (vanilla) after the pudding is set. When you are ready to serve it, cut the icebox cake into small squares. Then scoop the sections into individual serving bowls or plates and top generously with whipped cream.
***Sugar free pudding or 1% milk would be fine to substitute for either of these ingredients. Just be sure to use the cooked sugar free pudding mix.
Till next time .....
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