Halloween may still be three weeks away, but things are starting to get seriously creepy around here. While developing this recipe, I glanced down at my sink to discover a culinary crime scene complete with red food coloring stains and meringue shards. Straight up blood and bones.
And while setting up the shot below, I accidentally knocked over one of the glasses. I quickly snapped another photo, not realizing the thick trickle of pudding down the side of the glass. But as eerie as this blood and bones matchup may be, it’s equally as addicting as a spooky sweet finale this Halloween.
Homemade pudding is a simple solution to the store-bought variety, especially when you kick it up with sour cream and cocoa powder for red velvet’s characteristic taste. Just imagine the classic cake, but in creamy, cool form. You’ll want to skip the spoons in favor of meringue bones, which make scooping and snacking a crunchy, spirited affair.
And a huge congratulations to the winner of the KitchenAid stand mixer giveaway! The winner, as chosen by Random.org out of the more than 885 comments, is Danielle (comment #185), who is ready to put her new stand mixer to the test with Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!
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For the pudding:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons red food coloring
For the meringue bones:
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Special Equipment: 1/2-inch-wide pastry tip (such as Wilton #1A)
Make the pudding:
- In a large, heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt.
- Gradually whisk in the milk, then whisk in the heavy cream and sour cream until combined.
- Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking intermittently, until it comes to a boil. Boil until thick, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Whisk in the vanilla and red food coloring. Allow pudding to cool 5 minutes.
- Refrigerate pudding, uncovered, for at least 2 hours until cold. (See Kelly's Notes.)
Make the meringue:
- Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt until they just hold soft peaks. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar and continue to beat at high speed until the meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks.
- Secure the parchment paper to the baking sheets with dabs of meringue.
- Spoon a portion of the meringue into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch-wide tip and pipe bones about 1 inch apart. Add more meringue to the pastry bag and pipe more bones in the same manner on the other baking sheet.
- Bake the bones in the oven, switching the position of the sheets halfway through baking, until crisp but still white, about 2 hours.
- Turn off the oven and cool the meringue bones in the oven for 1 hour, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.
- Portion the pudding into cups and serve with the meringue bones to use as spoons.
- The pudding will firm up as it chills.
- You can make the pudding up to 1 day in advance and keep it refrigerated, covered, until ready to serve.
- The cornstarch must come to a boil in order for it to properly thicken the pudding.
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