Everyone has made this tough decision at some point – chocolate or vanilla? Why not have both? Dorie did just that with her Split-Level Pudding. The bottom layer is chocolate ganache while the top layer is vanilla pudding. I enjoyed this dessert because you can serve the pudding in individual dishes and not worry about sharing or cutting into equal portions. My parents received these mugs as a wedding gift, and I absolutely adore them. We hardly use them because we own a ton of coffee mugs (95% of them are mine: cute and/or witty). Plus Dorie’s recipe calls for six ramekins and I only have four.

Split-Level Pudding

Chocolate Layer
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream

Vanilla Layer
2 1/4 cups whole milk
6 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Chocolate Layer: Put chocolate in heat-resistant bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Gently stir to blend. Divide among 6 four-ounce ramekins/pudding cups.

2. Vanilla Layer: Bring 2 cups of whole milk and 3 Tbsp sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. In a blender or food processor, blend 3 Tbsp sugar and egg yolks for 1 minute. Add remaining 1/4 cup milk and pulse just to mix. Then add cornstarch and salt and pulse a few more times.

3. While the machine is still running, very slowly add hot milk mixture. Process for a few seconds more, then pour everything back into the saucepan. Whisk without stopping over medium heat until the pudding thickens and some bubbles burble and pop on the surface. Do not let it boil completely, so if it hasn’t thickened yet, feel free to turn down the heat.

4. Scrape the pudding back into the machine (avoid any scorched spots) and pulse a few more times. Add butter and vanilla and pulse until evenly blended.

5. Pour the pudding evenly over each chocolate layer in the ramekins/cups. Press a piece of plastic wrap over each surface. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours, 2006 p. 384