Pudding means different things to different people. I learnt it on my first visit to England years ago when we were served all sorts of sweet dishes ‘for pudding’. My host family explained to me that this is how a sweet course after the main meal is often referred to in England.
It was even more confusing to find out that a savoury dish made of meat can be called pudding, like a steak and kidney pudding. Or that there’s something like a black pudding in British cuisine, which is basically pork mixed with blood and stuffed into pig intestines.
In Slovakia, pudding is spelt with one d and it is a sweet dish often served as a snack to children. All you need to prepare puding is milk and a powder mix that can be bought in all shops around Slovakia.
Slovak puding comes in packets of about 40 g, which usually yield 4 servings, depending on how thick you want your puding to be. The more milk you add, the thinner consistency you get.
There are many different flavours of puding to choose from, ranging from the classic chocolate or vanilla one through the caramel, banana or strawberry flavour to the pistacio or coconut one. All of them can be made as desserts on their own, or added to butter to make buttercream for cakes.
For my my vanilla pudding I used a specific brand of powder mix called Zlatý klas (Golden Spikelet), whose main component is cornstarch and an extract from Bourbon vanilla beans.
I topped the puding with Slovak whipping cream (Smotana na šľahanie), which has 33% fat content, and added locally grown fresh cherries for a healthy twist.
Vanilla Pudding with Cherries and Whipped Cream
- 700 ml milk
- a packet of Zlatý klas powder mix (40 g)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 200 ml whipping cream (Smotana na šľahanie in Slovakia)
- fresh cherries to top
- cocoa powder for dusting
- Pour the milk in a saucepan and put over a low heat. Stir in the sugar, let dissolve and heat until the milk is slightly warm. Take a few ladles of the milk away into a mug or a small bowl. Tip the contents of Zlatý klas packet into it and mix together until smooth.
- Transfer the milky mixture back to the saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Turn off the heat and carefully divide the pudding into dessert bowls.
- While the pudding is cooling, pour the whipping cream into the mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Spoon onto the cooled pudding and place a few washed cherries on top. Dust with a little cocoa powder and either serve immediately or store in the fridge, where the pudding will keep for up to three days.