Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Down South: University of Alabama-Inspired Houndstooth Pudding Trifle with Homemade Red Velvet Pudding, Cream Cheese Whipped Cream, Crushed Double Stuffed Oreos, + Red Velvet Cake Sprinkles

The Haute + Heirloom blogger has returned, yay!! I know I have been gone for-like-ever and I apologize for that, but I have been extremely busy and my personal life is in shambles. I hate that I haven't posted some of my new recipes, but I'm back, and the recipes are even BETTER. It's a 100% guarantee, mmk? As many of my followers know, we are huge football fans. Obviously, Alabama comes in first in the ranking, and just behind them comes University of Georgia + the Atlanta Falcons. So if you're a Georgia gal like me, this dessert is perfect for all three teams and all of your buddies will love you for making a pan of this trifle during the long day of tailgatin'. Trust me on that one. My usual go-to dessert had always been my Gourmet Banana Pudding, but I wanted something festive to celebrate with... and this is certainly festive. If you didn't know already, Alabama's team colors are crimson + white, but the school has incorporated the pattern of houndstooth into the scheme as well. The tradition of houndstooth comes from the greatest college football coach of all time, Bear Bryant. He wore a houndstooth hat to every single game, and well, it caught on like wildfire. Now it's almost impossible to not see someone with houndstooth on during the game day. So, when I first started concocting this dish in my head, it became clear to me that I wanted the same idea that I use for banana pudding. Instead of creamy vanilla bean pudding, there is a luscious + homemade red velvet pudding. You have to know by now that my obsession with "red velvet desserts"is quite unhealthy and I tend to go overboard, but hey who's counting anyway. Next, I used crushed up Double Stuffed Oreos rather than the homemade shortbread because I needed the contrast of the black + white cookies to represent the houndstooth concept. And hell, who doesn't like Oreos... I sure do!! What's even better about them is that if you let the pudding trifle sit in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours (or overnight if you need to) like we did, the cookies begin to soften to the texture of the Oreos in cookies + cream ice cream. They literally, like, melt in your mouth. Lastly, you have to make the "frosting" type whipped cream layer. It has the tang of a cream cheese frosting (which is what all red velvet cakes must have), the sweetness from the sweetened condensed milk, the delightful cloud-like fluff from the Cool Whip, oh and don't forget that vanilla bean that is added in because that is so much better than vanilla extract. One fun ingredient I found for this dessert are some of Betty Crocker's yummy Red Velvet Cake Sprinkles. And let's be honest, sprinkles make every dessert so much better, it's a scientific fact. To be frank, these are double the fun because they are sprinkles that taste like cake.... woah, woah, WOAH. Mind Blown. These Red Velvet Cake Sprinkles also give the dish a little crunch with each bite. Textures galore here, folks!! I hope y'all enjoy this pudding trifle as much as we did because it's already on our tailgate menu for the Alabama-LSU game in Tuscaloosa in November. So go on, start cookin' it :)
the beginning of making the homemade red velvet pudding
assembling like a beast
check out those layers, guys
The Close Up: Amazing Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Sprinkles
And the best shot of them all... a perfect spoonful of every glorious layer :)
For the Classic Pudding Mix:
½C Cornstarch
¼C Buttermilk or Milk Powder (I used buttermilk since it’s a key component in red velvet cake)
1C Cake Flour (AP Flour can be substituted if you don’t have it)
1 ½C Sugar
1t Kosher Salt  

For the Homemade Red Velvet Pudding:
3C Whole Milk, Divided
¾C Classic Pudding Mix (above; you will have leftover mix, but now you can make more of it)
5T Cocoa Powder, Sifted
Generous Pinch of Salt
¼C Sugar
2 Eggs
1T White Vinegar
2T Salted Butter
2t Vanilla Extract
1T Cream Cheese Emulsion
Red Food Coloring (use as much as you want until you reach your desired red color)

For the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream:
8oz Cream Cheese, Softened
1 Can of Sweetened, Condensed Milk
1T Cream Cheese Emulsion
¼C Heavy Whipping Cream
16oz Cool Whip, Defrosted
1 Vanilla Bean, Split + Scraped for Seeds (if you don’t have vanilla bean, sub in 2t vanilla extract)
Generous Pinch of Salt  (or to taste)

For the Houndstooth Trifle:
Prepared Homemade Red Velvet Pudding, Completely Chilled
Prepared Cream Cheese Whipped Cream, Completely Chilled
1 Box of Double Stuffed Oreos, Crushed into Bite Size Pieces
1 Container of Betty Crocker Red Velvet Cake Sprinkles (chocolate sprinkles can be subbed in)

1. For the Classic Pudding Mix: Combine the cornstarch, flour, buttermilk powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk the mixture until it is a cohesive mixture is formed. Set this pudding mix aside. If you have any remaining pudding mix left, store it in an airtight container.
2. For the Homemade Red Velvet Pudding: Pour 2 ½C of whole milk into a medium sized saucepan or pot. Turn on the stove to low heat and allow the milk to get hot (with some slight steaming), but make sure the milk does not start boiling! While the milk is heating, get another mixing bowl and whisk together the pudding mix, sifted cocoa powder, sugar, 2 eggs, a generous pinch of salt, white distilled vinegar, and the remaining ½C of whole milk. While whisking, make sure it is a smooth, creamy, chocolate liquid. Once the milk is hot, add in the chocolate liquid to the hot milk and whisk vigorously (so that the eggs won’t cook and curdle). Then add in the salted butter, vanilla extract, cream cheese emulsion, and red dye. Increase the heat to medium or medium-low while whisking continuously because the pudding could easily burn. Cook and whisk until the pudding mixture starts to thicken, this usually takes about 8-12 minutes, depending on the thickness that you prefer. During the cooking period, make sure to taste test it to see if it needs more salt or vanilla (do it to taste) When it has reached your desired consistency, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner. It will continue to thicken a little more as it cools and sits. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the pudding; this will help the pudding to remain smooth and also prevents it from developing a “skin” on top.  Cool the pudding until it is completely chilled and store in the refrigerator until you need to use it.
3. For the Cream Cheese Whipped Cream: Place the softened cream cheese, vanilla bean seeds, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese emulsion, and a pinch of salt into the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it smooth and slightly whipped, about 1-2 minutes. With the mixer still on, pour in the can of sweetened, condensed milk and mix until it is a cohesive, creamy mixture (also make sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl to get any remaining cream cheese that is stuck). This should take another 1-2 minutes. Lastly, gently fold in the defrosted (yet still cold) Cool Whip, so that it is completely incorporated, but still has a light and airy texture. Cool the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
4. Assembling the Houndstooth Pudding Trifle: Get your favorite serving piece (preferably a glass trifle dish, so that you can see every layer) and begin the layering process. Start off with a base of crushed double stuffed Oreo cookies. Next, dollop some of the homemade red velvet pudding all over the cookies and then gently smooth it out, so that the Oreos are completely covered. Following the same method as the pudding, dollop the cream cheese whipped cream on top of the red velvet pudding and smooth the top as well. Spread some of the red velvet sprinkles evenly over the cream cheese whipped cream. Repeat the layering process of crushed cookies, red velvet pudding, cream cheese whipped cream, and red velvet sprinkles until you have run out of all of the different components. 
5. You can enjoy the pudding now, but I personally prefer to let it sit in the refrigerator, so that the pudding and whipped cream have firmed up, while the cookies are soft (think of the softened textures of Oreos in cookies + cream ice cream). You can chill it from 1-4 hours… or even overnight if you want or need to! Besides that, it’s time to chow down on your festive football dessert. And hey, it’s also great for UGA + Falcons fans as well!!