Five easy puddings to make in quarantine

Satisfy your cravings and stay thicc in quarantine.


 

As we wallow in self-isolation and mourn the fact that our respective colleges are no longer providing constant sustenance, it seems that we must find alternate ways to gain nourishment, or at the very least, satisfy some cravings and ward off boredom. So please enjoy this carefully curated list of easy to prepare (and undeniably delicious) puddings, with options on this list suitable for every type of dietary requirement.

1. Chocolate and Avocado Mousse

This recipe is vegan friendly and can be scaled up or down. It’s super easy to make and a definite crowd-pleaser. The quantities provided here should produce a serving for about two people. You can serve this with just about anything you want, but personally, I think cream and berries work best.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • The flesh of 1 large avocado
  • 5 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 6 tablespoons almond milk (or a preferred milk substitute)
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons date syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Tip:  If the dates aren’t really soft, soak them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend into a smooth mixture.
  2. Keep chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

2.  Cheat’s Sticky Toffee Pudding:

As any self-respecting resident of the British Isles will tell you, sticky toffee pudding is the food of the gods. Its sticky sweetness is crammed with childhood memories and a subtle threat of cavities. But the best thing about this particular recipe? How quick and simple it is. In total, this should take you around fifteen minutes and will serve four people. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large supermarket muffins (of whatever flavour you prefer)
  • 50g sultanas
  • Butter, for greasing 

For the toffee sauce

  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g butter 
  • 180g double cream

To serve 

  • Ice cream 

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the muffins with the sultanas. Divide between 4 buttered ramekins or one baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 8 mins until just warmed through.
  2. Meanwhile, place the sugar, butter and cream in a small pan and gently heat together, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the sauce over the muffin mixture and serve warm with ice cream.

3.  No-fuss Berry Crumble:

This is quick, it’s easy and produces precisely one serving, so your waistline won’t suffer too much— no need to thank me.

Ingredients:

For the crumble topping 

  • 100 grams plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 grams cold butter (cut into small cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons demerara sugar

For the crumble filling 

  • 100 grams frozen berries
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

For serving

  • Ice cream 

Method:

  1. Put the flour and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the cubes of butter, using your fingers until you have a mixture like coarse sand.
  2. Stir in the sugar and then put into a freezer bag to freeze. This mixture is enough to make 4 crumbles in the cups.
  3. You will need an ovenproof ramekin of approx 300ml / 1¼ cup capacity.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/. Put the summer fruits in either a cup or ramekin and sprinkle the cornflour and sugar over the top. Stir around a little.
  5. Sprinkle approx. 75g /½ cup of the frozen crumble topping over the fruit and bake the cup for 20 minutes.

4.  Pina Colada Inspired Rice Pudding:

“If you like Pina Coladas and being in quarantine”, then I highly suggest you try out this recipe. I credit my mummy with this, since she has developed a perfect coconut rice pudding, and when you caramelise pineapple to go on top it elevates the whole thing into a fantastic explosion of flavour that makes sure this comfort food can never get dull.

Ingredients:

50g butter 

150g short-grain pudding rice

150g golden caster sugar

800ml coconut milk 

300ml double cream, plus a little extra

For the caramelised pineapple:

Fresh or tinned pineapple

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

65g of brown sugar

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, for 1 minute
  2. Add the pineapple and cook, swirling the pan, until the pineapple is tender and the sauce is smooth, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Tip into a bowl, cover and set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan (there’s no need to clean it) melt the butter over a medium heat until sizzling, then scatter over the rice and toast in the hot butter until the butter is just starting to brown. Stir in the sugar, then pour over the coconut milk, cream and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook gently for 40-45 mins until the rice is tender, adding a splash more cream if it becomes too thick.

5.  Crème brûlée

We may be leaving the EU, but that doesn’t mean we should stop enjoying a little European decadence. The first sampling of crème brûlée seems to be an essential part of childhood, being offered a taste by some generous relative only to be overcome but the fantastically rich cream and seductively complex flavour of burnt-sugar. It is a pudding which feels and tastes grown-up, yet despite the sophisticated end-product, it is surprisingly easy to make. Although the process is longer than some of the others detailed in this article, it is worth it.  In some variations of the recipe, cooks are advised not to thicken the custard first. Don’t listen. These are pernicious lies designed to ruin your culinary exploits. In my humble opinion, thickening the custard is downright essential, it ensures that the final custard product is satin-smooth and fantastically thick. Besides, the traditional French method thickens the custard, and it seems silly not to defer to the superior authority on this. I should also insist that you take your time during the brûléeing process. Make sure that the top is fully caramelised and an alluring golden brown. Heed this advice, and I promise you will impress your family and have a fantastic pudding.

This recipe produces four servings 

Ingredients:

600ml double cream

5 egg yolks

50g caster sugar

1 vanilla pod

4 tablespoons light brown sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 120°C and place four 175ml ramekins in a roasting tin.
  2. Pour the cream into a medium-sized saucepan and place over a medium heat. Cut the vanilla pod in half length-ways, and scrape out the seeds with the back of your knife. Put these seeds and the scraped vanilla pod into the cream, and heat until steaming.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a medium-sized bowl until the mixture is noticeably paler than when you began.
  4. When the cream is steaming, fish out the vanilla pod and discard. Pour a stream of the hot milk onto the egg yolk mixture and whisk straight away to combine. Now pour the egg yolk mixture back into the milk pan and, using a spatula, stir continually over a low heat until the custard thickens. You’ll know it’s ready when, if you dip a spoon into the custard and then draw a line through the custard with your finger, the line remains without the custard rushing back into fill it.
  5. Once the custard has thickened, pour it through a sieve into a jug. Divide the mixture in the jug between the four ramekins. Boil the kettle and fill the roasting tin with hot water until it comes about half way up the ramekins. Carefully transfer to the oven, and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Once baked, remove the ramekins from their roasting tin and, when cool, refrigerate until properly chilled.
  7. Sprinkle a tablespoon of light brown sugar on top of each pudding. Brûlée slowly and steadily with a blow torch, or transfer briefly to a hot grill to caramelise. If you grill the puddings, keep a close eye on them, as they can move from brûléed to, well, burnt, very quickly – and give them proper time to cool down after grilling before serving.