The last few Christmas Eves, we've made this "figgy" pudding (really chocolate pudding) to have after our tradition of "Rum Tum Piddly" which is a silly name for potato soup in bread bowls. We also borrow from the Danish the tradition of hiding a single almond in the pudding (theirs is rice). Whichever lucky soul who happens upon the almond gets to open the first present of Christmas Eve. One of our tastiest traditions, to be sure.
2 cubes butter, softened
2 C. flour
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups whole milk
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine butter and flour and press into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, til golden brown. Let cool. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 the whipped cream, set aside.
For the pudding: Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Whisk often. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
When crust is cool, spread on cream cheese mixture. Pour pudding on top and spread evenly. Top with sweetened whipped cream. Chill til served.
Pudding recipe from Smitten Kitchen, all the rest from friend Laurel.