Office Bytes | Butterscotch Pudding with Chocolate Ganache

| For Friends & Family, Recipe


For the office holiday party this year, I dug deep and pulled up a dessert that was recommended to me years ago (I think 5 years ago) by a co-worker, back when I wasn’t making much more than cupcakes out of Martha Stewart’s recipe book. It was fun to see this dessert in a new light and realize how much more complex and interesting it is to me now.

This dessert from Herbivoracious is comprised of butterscotch pudding with chocolate ganache on the bottom, and butterscotch (caramelized white chocolate) cornflakes on top. The ganache is bittersweet and creamy, the pudding slightly smoky (I might even call it a caramel pudding instead), and the cornflakes are coated with a sea salt caramelized white chocolate hazelnut ganache.

It’s a bit of work to make all of these components, but if you’re familiar with ganaches and custards, it should be straightforward. And the results are worth it!

Butterscotch Pudding with Bittersweet Ganache and Caramelized White Chocolate Cornflakes
Makes about 8 mini cups


  • 75g bittersweet chocolate
  • 150mL heavy cream

1. Heat heavy cream in sauce pan until nearly boiling. Pour over chocolate in a bowl and let sit for a few minutes.

2. Whisk until smooth, then pour into cups. Place in fridge to cool.

Butterscotch Pudding:

  • 180mL (¾ cup) heavy cream
  • 300mL (1¼ cup) whole milk
  • 142g dark brown sugar
  • 42g unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • vanilla extract, to taste

1. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch with ¼ cup of milk to form a solution. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together egg and egg yolks.

2. Put the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted, then reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes, until fragrant and starting to caramelize.

3. Remove from heat and carefully stir in a pinch of salt, the vanilla extract and the remaining milk and heavy cream. The mixture will sputter and the sugar will seize up. Place saucepan back on medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until it reaches a simmer. The sugar should dissolve.

4. Pour a third of the hot mixture over eggs while stirring to temper, and return egg mixture to saucepan. Continue cooking over medium-high heat while stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.

5. Whisk the cornstarch solution into the saucepan and cook for one additional minute until the mixture thickens further. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to process the pudding until it is completely smooth and uniform. Allow to cool somewhat (but before completely set) and pour on top of the cooled ganache. Cover and return to fridge.

Caramelized White Chocolate Cornflakes:

  • 2 cups (unsweetened) cornflakes
  • 110 grams white chocolate
  • 15 grams unsalted butter
  • 58 grams (¼ cup) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted hazelnut butter or paste
  • ½ teaspoon Maldon sea salt

1. Toast the cornflakes on a sheet pan at 300° F until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2. Seal the white chocolate in a canning jar. Put in pressure cooker with enough water to cover the jar and cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Release pressure. Carefully remove jar and allow to cool until you can handle comfortably, then open the jar. [Note: I used a standard pint jar which just barely fits into a standard stove-top pressure cooker when placed in the middle, tallest part of the pot, but it worked.] The chocolate will look light brown and seized up. Transfer it to a bowl and break it up with a fork.

3. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until nearly boiling. Pour majority over the white chocolate, whisking until melted and smooth. Continue adding heavy cream as needed (you want to use as little cream as possible to avoid wetting the cornflakes, but enough to create a stirrable ganache).

4. Stir in the hazelnut butter/paste and the salt. Taste and adjust seasoning.

5. Toss the chocolate mixture with the cornflakes.

6. Spread cornflakes out on a parchment-lined sheetpan, allowing small clusters to form. Let cool in fridge to set. When the pudding is set and ready to serve, top each pudding with a small handful of the cornflakes.


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Thanksgiving | (Part 1) Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes

| Holidays, Recipe


Martha Stewart’s pumpkin sage brown butter cupcakes are a seasonal favorite of mine, especially when paired with brown butter icing. This year, I made a batch of mini cupcakes for the workplace, saving of course a healthy tupperware full of them to snack on at home! Here is the recipe, with a few tips:

Pumpkin (Sage) Brown Butter Cupcakes
Makes 12 regular cupcakes, or about 30-32 mini cupcakes.

  • 170g (¾ cup or 1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 210g (1 ⅔ cups) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup fresh sage (chiffonade)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 220g (1 cup) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • Brown Butter Icing (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line muffin tins with paper liners, or brush with butter and dust with flour.

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the sage, if desired, and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until butter turns golden brown. Skim foam from top, and remove from heat. Pour into a bowl to stop the cooking, leaving any burned sediment behind; let cool.

3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. In another bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, both sugars, eggs, and brown-butter mixture. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes for standard cupcakes and 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

5. To finish, dip top of each cupcake in icing, then turn over quickly and let set. I prefer to use a smaller bowl with a deeper pool of icing. If icing separates or does not smoothly coat the cupcake (e.g. icing has trouble sticking to cake), add a little more milk to the icing and mix well. Decorate as desired — I added some white chocolate curls this time. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed, keep at room temperature until ready to serve.



Brown Butter Icing
Makes 1 cup

  • 113.5g (½ cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 250g (2 cups) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, plus more if needed

1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling pan occasionally, until nut-brown in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour butter into bowl, leaving behind any burned sediment.

2. Add confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons milk to brown butter, stir until smooth. If necessary, add more milk (up to 2 tablespoons) a little at a time, until the icing is the right consistency. Use immediately.


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Office Bytes | Oreo Truffles

| Recipe


Oreo truffle balls — yup, they’re exactly what they sound like, and they’re awesome. Think cake balls, made with Oreos. With literally three ingredients, these are also quite simple to make. Grind up Oreos, add a little bit of cream cheese to bind the crumbs together, form balls, chill, and then dip in candy coating (or chocolate). Et voilà!

IMG_2887 IMG_2889

I often have a difficult time with Wilton candy melt consistency, and prefer using chocolate melting wafers (or tempered chocolate when I have the time and patience). Here, I started out with white candy melts, before moving on to Ghirardelli chocolate melting wafers which gave me a much better control and shine. If I had more time, I would have shaped these a little better and decorated with more polish. But honestly, when it comes to something like Oreo truffles, presentation isn’t all too important. Plus, I was happy to eat up all the ones that failed my quality control inspection 🙂


Oreo Truffles
Makes 18-24 balls (depending on size)

  • 1 package (14.3 ounces) Oreo cookies
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, chilled and cubed
  • candy wafers or tempered chocolate


  1. Ground up one package of Oreos in a food processor.
  2. Add chilled and cubed cream cheese into the food processor. Pulse about a dozen times or until it comes together. Do not process more than needed, as the mixture will become greasy.
  3. Portion with a cookie scoop, spoon, or just your hands, and roll into balls. I recommend wearing gloves. A cake pop mold press would also work. Chill on a wax paper lined sheet pan for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Melt candy wafers and thin out if necessary, or melt and temper chocolate.
  5. Remove balls from fridge. Submerge truffle balls in bowl of candy coating or chocolate using dipping forks (or if you don’t have one, use a plastic fork with the middle tine(s) snapped off).
  6. Shake off excess coating and place ball on wax paper to set.
  7. Try not to eat them all before sharing with others.
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