(NAPSI)-The next time you seek a weekday treat or a nice homemade dessert to serve friends who drop by, consider serving something sweet and simple such as pudding. It can be made in a snap with ingredients you have on hand. One to try is S'More Pudding, made with corn starch, an essential ingredient in puddings, cake and pie fillings.
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Microwave Time: 6 to 8 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
⅔ cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Argo® Corn Starch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup marshmallow cream
½-¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
Mix sugar, cocoa powder, corn starch and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in milk and egg yolks until well blended. Microwave on high (100 percent) power for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every 1 to 2 minutes. Cook until pudding is thick and has boiled at least 1 minute. Remove from microwave. Stir in butter and vanilla. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours. Layer pudding, marshmallow cream and graham cracker crumbs in individual clear bowls or stemware.
Corn starch is often mixed with flour to produce more tender baked goods and perform like cake flour. For each cup of cake flour called for in a recipe, use ⅞ cup all-purpose flour (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) plus 2 tablespoons of corn starch.
It thickens with a satiny smoothness and glossy appearance and adds no taste of its own to mask the flavor of other foods. Recipes thickened with corn starch have a brighter, more translucent appearance than those thickened with flour. Corn starch has twice the thickening power of flour, so it's necessary to use only half as much.
Corn starch also blends more easily with cold liquids than flour because it doesn't absorb liquid until it's cooked.
Cooking with corn starch is easy when you follow a few simple guidelines:
• Amount of stirring. Gradually stir cold liquids into corn starch until completely smooth. Continue to stir gently during entire cooking period. When adding ingredients after cooking, remove the mixture from the heat and stir them in quickly and gently. Stirring too vigorously may cause mixture to break down and thin out.
• Temperature. Cook over medium-low to medium heat. Cooking over high heat can cause lumping. If mixture contains egg, high heat may curdle it.
• Cooking time. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to a full boil and boil 1 minute. After boiling 1 minute, the starch granules will have swelled to their full capacity, causing the mixture to thicken. Significantly overcooking thickened mixtures such as puddings, pies and cake fillings may cause mixture to thin out as it cools.
At the Argo® Corn Starch and Kingsford's® Corn Starch Web site, www.argostarch.com, you can find more tips and delicious, classic and contemporary recipes.
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