Pudding Parfait

Pudding Parfait

Pudding Parfait 1920 2560 Daryl Duarte

I buy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s, making this dessert gluten-free (the custard is made using corn starch).  Ideal for large crowds who have varying dietary preferences.

Pudding Parfait

This recipe can be a combination of homemade and store-bought ingredients. Buy the cookies, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream leaving only the pudding to make. Or you can upgrade the chocolate sauce with a ganache. That is what I do.



  • Ingredients:
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla optional
  • 1 tsp instant coffee optional

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Remaining components

  • Cookies - store-bought crisp cookie of some kind is best.
  • Caramel sauce - store-bought


To make the Pudding

  • Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a heavy bottom saucepan using a whisk to combine the ingredients. Make sure there are no lumps. The mixture will be powdery.
  • Pour a small amount of milk into the mixture and use a whisk to mix and make a paste. Add the remaining milk gradually, whisking continuously until all the milk is incorporated and there are no lumps. Wisk in the egg yolks, stirring vigorously to ensure they are fully integrated.
  • Place the pan over medium heat and stir with a heat-proof rubber spatula until the custard comes to a full boil, being careful to reach all over the bottom of the pan with the spatula to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  • Pour the hot custard into a quart container, lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard (to prevent skin from forming), and refrigerate for 4 hours.

To make the Ganache

  • Pour 1 ½ cup scalded heavy cream over 12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, let sit for 10 minutes. Then add two tablespoons of clear corn syrup (adds shine) and mix until the ganache and cream have emulsified. Store in a container until needed. Twenty seconds in a microwave is typically enough to make it shiny and soft again. Watch the time in the microwave – you can turn it into liquid very quickly, which will have to be re-cooled.

To whip the cream

  • Combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla - and whip to soft peaks.

Assemble the parfait

  • You assemble by layering the components using a parfait glass (it is nice to see the layers) or another individual serving container. First, a pudding layer, then a broken cookie layer, followed by more pudding, ganache, pudding, and caramel.  Finish with whipped cream.  
  • This can be done ahead and put in the refrigerator – early that day.
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