5

I tried making pudding in the microwave for the first time. I took 20 g rice starch and 250 g milk. First made a slurry, then mixed the rest of the milk, constantly stirring. Then added 10 g sugar and half a tablespoon of vanilla extract, and stirred well again. The mixture was fully homogenous.

I put it immediately in the microwave at a low setting, and turned on for 3 minutes. It was still really liquid, so I put it in for another 3. When I took it out the second time, it had built a skin. I tried stirring it in, and suddenly realized that all the starch has sedimented on the bottom and has half-gelled there. Stirring with a spoon only broke it up into solid pieces.

I blended it smooth, cooked it some more, and got a thin, reasonably smooth pudding. But the question is, how should I have prepared it from the beginning to make it in one go, without a blender?

  • Did the pudding rotate in the microwave, or was it in a static location? – Jan Doggen Apr 22 '17 at 19:43
  • @JanDoggen it rotated – rumtscho Apr 22 '17 at 19:44
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Unlike with stovetop recipes, you need not heat the major part of your milk first and then add the starch slurry, you can mix everything while cold. As with all similar microwave recipes, using a wide bowl (preferably with straight sides) is best suited for the job. Use short microwave intervals at medium power, give the mix a quick stir with a whisk every minute or so. You want to heat the milk as evenly as possible while keeping the starch more or less suspended. "Hot spots" will create the dreaded lumps, similar to not stirring well when cooking on the stove.

And when you reach a certain temperature threshold, the "magic" starts: gelatinization happens everywhere at roughly the same time and your whole mix thickens almost instantly. (Unlike in a pot, where it starts at the bottom.) Simmer half a minute longer or so, give it a final stir and your pudding is done.

5

When I wish to cook a pudding or sauce in the microwave, I heat most of the liquid ingredients (roughly 3/4th - 4/5th) in the microwave first. I keep a close eye on it and remove it just before it starts boiling (when I can see the liquid rise up the sides). The starches and sugars (and egg, if I use it) I have thoroughly mixed with the rest of the liquid portion (lukewarm, not cold) ready. I bring out the very hot liquid, add some to the lukewarm mix while stirring with a small whisk. I add more, enough so the lukewarm mixture is now fairly hot before adding it all back to the dish with the initial hot liquid.

At this point, the pudding or sauce has already thickened somewhat and I continue cooking it in the microwave. I've found doing it this way, the starches don't settle to the bottom nor does the pudding or sauce get even slightly lumpy. I prefer making milk-based sauces and puddings this way as I don't need to worry about it getting burnt on the bottom using the stove and I don't have to stand stirring the whole time.

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