This Creamy, Caffeine-Spiked Homemade Pudding Is All Grown Up

Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
By Kendra Vaculin

Whether you take your coffee black, with cream and sugar, or in ice-cream form, this pudding will fulfill your caffeine craving.

When I try to remember a time before coffee, all I see is darkness. I was a child at some point (there are photographs to prove it), and during that era, I'm told I was coffee-free. I am grateful to have no recollection of this, because it sounds like a nightmare.

The affair began in high school. As soon as I was old enough to drive, I went to the nearest Starbucks. Coffee seemed romantic and classy, which had something to do with this song but more to do with the smell, which struck me (and still does) as all loveliness and comfort and a scrappy sense of purposefulness. I fell very hard.

Every form of coffee has its time: Black is for work desks and deadline-meeting; milky is for lazy, Saturday-morning cartoons and reading in bed; as an ice cream flavor, coffee is ideal for midnight freezer raids; and cold brew, harbinger of sunny weather, is for park walks and picnics, plus brunch and general good living. The coffee-flavored macarons are the best ones in the box. The secret pinch of espresso is what makes a chocolate cake. “Coffee?” is a totally acceptable first sentence of the day. It absolutely includes a verb.

The time for coffee pudding, coincidentally, is right now. Warmer weather means cold desserts are a must, and this one stays just shy of brain-freeze temperatures. It’s put-together enough to end a dinner party and simple enough to whip up one night before bed and then snag from the fridge the next day after work, perfectly chilled. Pudding may scare you as a concept if you’re used to the brown-bag Snack Packs of middle-school fame, but this one is all grown up: creamy, caffeine-spiked, and totally addiction-feeding.

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Photo: Courtesy of James Ransom/Food52.
Coffee Pudding
Makes 2 individual servings

Ingredients
1/4 cup ground coffee
1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus extra for serving
1 cup milk
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp tahini
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
Whipped cream, for serving

Instructions

1. In a small pot, whisk the ground coffee and cinnamon into the milk. Set over medium heat and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

2. In a separate, medium-sized pot, whisk together condensed milk and tahini. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the coffee mixture into the pot; discard the leftover coffee glop. Add cornstarch and whisk until totally incorporated.

3. Place pot over medium heat and continue whisking slowly until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before dividing between two mini ramekins or little jars or whatever your heart desires.

4. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin. Let chill in the fridge for at least two hours before serving, or until completely cold. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Next: How To Make Cold-Brewed Coffee
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