If anyone has noticed - recently I have been fascinated with pudding. And I mean the creamy dessert (sample picture). Since I encountered a myriad of recipes - some calling for egg, others for no egg, some for butter, other for cream, etc. I decided to make my own experimentation (I am a scientist - sue me) and derive the best recipe for me (and hopefully for lots of other people, as well).

In order not to be left with huge batches of failed pudding, I decided to have a "control" recipe of tiny proportions. What I did was scour the Google for the first five or six chocolate pudding recipes, derive predominant ratios and comprise them into my very own franken-puddy recipe. From here I will make that control, taste it and then proceed to make a new one, each time removing or adding an extra ingredient. For example in the second round I will remove the egg, in the third round keep the egg but remove butter, etc.

The aim is to see how each ingredient affects the end result.

Cooks of the world, I would like to hear your thoughts on my recipe proportions! But beware - it is in metric (lousy imperial translation has been attempted but can be inaccurate).

Egg yolks  -  1        1
Cocoa      - 30ml     2tbsp.
Sugar      - 60ml     4tbsp.
Butter     - 10ml     2tsp.
Milk       - 164ml    5.55oz
Cornstarch - 14ml     2.8tsp.

The aim is for the end pudding to be no more than one serving, I only need it for a small taste test, after all. As for the cream, I would substitute the same amount as for butter.


Sampling I intend to do:

  1. Control (the cited above recipe)
  2. Control with no egg
  3. Control with egg yolk and white
  4. Control with egg white, no yolk
  5. Control with no butter
  6. Control with cream, instead of butter
  7. Control with 5ml cream and 5ml butter
  8. Control with a pinch of salt
  9. Control with more salt
  10. Control with 90ml Nesquik, instead of cocoa and sugar

The problem here is that taste is subjective and even if I know what effect a certain change will have, it has to be tasted to be deemed good or bad. Once I establish a baseline of what swings the pudding in the tasty direction and what in the "EGADS!" direction I can begin substitution for similar but fancier products, like milk for almond milk or coconut milk, etc. as proposed by Rand(char) below. :)

Journeys into Pudding, Part I:

Just attempted to make my first control batch... it didn't thicken... am I using too little cornstarch?

  • 1
    How about making the pudding tasting a party. Make a small (but not tiny) batch of each recipe and invite twenty of your closest friends to the tasting. You can't perform accurate science with a cohort of one, surely.
    – Carmi
    Commented Sep 8, 2015 at 18:52
  • @Carmi, that is a pretty good idea! I would just have to figure out a way to control a blind-taste test of 20 or so different puddings and I could even publish my findings, lol.
    – mathgenius
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 13:22
  • you don't have to figure it out. There are ISO standards for conducting taste-tests. ISO 1839 specifically deals with tea, but I'm sure the basic methodology is applicable.
    – Carmi
    Commented Sep 9, 2015 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


The ratio of egg/cornstarch to milk essentially controls the thickness of your end product more egg and it ends up like a custard, more cornstarch and you end up with a pastry cream.

You could swap out egg/cornstarch for gelatin?

With just yolk you add a richness to the pudding same with the butter.

With the milk you could swap it out for almond milk, coconut milk, kahlua ...

I'd also suggest a little salt to enhance flavor and maybe a splash of vanilla...

I'd also look into mousse, custard, Bavarian Cream all essentially have the same ingredients but with slightly different outcome.

That should keep yeh busy for awhile :P


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