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Some of you might have noticed recently I am dabbling with pudding. Well - to no avail.

This is my recipe:

  • yolks - 1
  • cocoa - 30ml
  • sugar - 60ml
  • butter - 10ml
  • milk - 164ml
  • starch - 14ml

And the pudding just won't thicken. Once I even tried with double the amount of corn starch.

I have no idea what is going on, 14ml of corn starch is approx. 8.4g. I am using such tiny measures, because I am still testing it and would not like to end up with a big batch of yuck!.

In addition my hotplates are retarded and even the lowest setting is way too strong and burns anything you attempt to cook on it, that is why I decided to stir the pudding with a mixer/electric beater to ensure it will be stirred so fast - it will not have a chance to burn.

I will be getting a new oven soon, but in the meantime I would appreciate any advice.

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    Use a double boiler (need not be formal - a pot set on a rack in another pot with water in it will do) to prevent overheating/scorching. You make no mention of cooking times... – Ecnerwal Sep 28 '15 at 14:56
  • No chance of getting tapioca powder instead? – Wayfaring Stranger Sep 28 '15 at 14:58
  • If you are struggling, why are you using these extra complicated recipes, or worse, creating your own (if I remember correctly from an older question)? Have you ever managed to make a standard milk-starch-sugar pudding? – rumtscho Sep 28 '15 at 15:05
  • @WayfaringStranger, I have no idea what that is and am willing to bet it is not readily available in my country. :/ – mathgenius Sep 28 '15 at 15:12
  • @rumtscho, "extra complicated recipes"? It's just an egg yolk, milk, cocoa and sugar mixture that you put on the hotplate for a few minutes, what is so complicated about it? :D (btw I thought that this is a "standard" pudding recipe) – mathgenius Sep 28 '15 at 15:13
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You are probably stirring the pudding too much. Cornstarch starts thickening at about 205°F/95°C. Once the pudding has got to that point and has thickened, stop stirring, otherwise you will interfere with the starch formation that causes the thickening. Using electric beaters probably means you are missing the point when the pudding has thickened and quickly beating the living daylights out of any starch formation that has occurred.

It may also be the case that you are beating so much air into the pudding that it just doesn't get hot enough to activate the cornstarch in the first place. I would use @ecnerwal's suggestion of a double boiler, along with a balloon whisk, and some patience.

  • I thought that might be the case, but needed an expert opinion. Since that is most probably the case - I really will have to use a double boiler. Thanks! :) – mathgenius Sep 28 '15 at 15:11
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    UPDATE: I listened to you and @Ecnerwal, got a double boiler, put all the stuff in, and some time later poof - a pudding! :3 Thank you guys, so much! – mathgenius Sep 28 '15 at 17:05
  • @mathgenius happy to help! – ElendilTheTall Sep 28 '15 at 20:07
  • For reference, starch breakdown from over-stirring is called "shear thinning" – SourDoh Sep 29 '15 at 6:31
  • Just to add an important hint for beginners reading that thread: Cornstarch needs to be dissolved in cold liquid before stirred in. Anything else will only work by accident or maybe special skill. – rackandboneman Dec 28 '15 at 14:01

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