Lebanese Red Velvet Pudding

Looking to bring some holiday colors to your menu? How about Red Velvet Pudding? Serve it as dessert or snack, it is lovely for all ages and decadent enough for the grown-ups at your holiday parties. This is not your everyday pudding out of the box. My Red Velvet Pudding is homemade and a variation of a Middle Eastern pudding called Muhallabiyeh. It’s originally a Lebanese Milk Pudding based entirely on milk and sugar with a hint of orange blossom and rose water. Its consistency is much like a Panna Cota and could be considered a simplified version of the Italian dessert. I wouldn’t doubt that it is either rooted in Italy or vice versa as once upon a time these regions were very much in competition with each other.

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This pudding is actually very easy to make once you master the corn starch to milk ratio of the recipe. The rule of thumb is 1 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch to every one cup of milk. This will give you a silky smooth and exquisite consistency. One more vital factor to remember is that never pour corn starch directly into the hot liquid. Always dissolve the corns starch in a small amount of cold liquid and then slowly pour it in. Otherwise, you will end up with lumpy pudding.

I think this is a much lighter version of the Red Velvet Pudding recipes that are out there. And if you want to bring some ethnic influence to your holiday table, then this version of Muhallabiyeh that has been converted to a Red Velvet Pudding is perfect as it brings festive rouge hues to your menu.

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Lebanese Red Velvet Pudding

Ingredients

4 cups milk

8 tbsp granulated sugar

1 /3 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted

6 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp red food color (use as much needed for desired color)

Method

  1. In a saucepan, over medium heat pour the milk (save 3/4 cup milk to dissolve the cornstarch in), sugar and cocoa. Stir to dissolve sugar and cocoa.
  2. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk.
  3. When the milk mixture starts to steam pour the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously until the pudding thickens.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and food color at the end and mix well.
  5. Pour the pudding into individual cups or one dish and cool.
  6. Refrigerate a few hours to set.
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