So, I have a new hobby. (To add to my other hobbies of drawing, sewing, knitting, and hiking, all of which I have high ambitions for but never actually do.) But this one is different because it is super easy and takes almost no time and very few materials: making popsicles! Almost every popsicle recipe can be summed up thus: mix some things together and then put it in the freezer with sticks coming out of it.
My hobby enabler mom started me down this path early this summer when she sent me this awesome book, Perfect Pops by Charity Ferriera. By the way, it's called Perfect Pops and not Perfect Popsicles because "popsicles" is a trademarked term by the Unilever Corporation, which informs us that "Appropriate generic terminology for frozen pops on a stick includes the terms 'pop(s)', 'ice pop(s)' and 'freezer pop(s)'." Who knew.
Anyhow, the book is chock full of delicious recipes. I can especially recommend the mango lassi pops, my three year-old and I are looking forward to trying the sweet corn paletas and I have plans of my own for some peach bourbon pops after our peach-picking expedition this weekend.
But the one recipe I tried which did not work out was the Mexican chocolate pops. It sounded super delicious but the pop came out kind of grainy and sedimenty at the top (bottom in the freezer). So I adapted the chocolate vanilla pudding swirl pops to include some of those spicy Mexican hot chocolate flavors that I was so excited about in the other recipe, but this time in a nice thick, creamy texture. I also altered the recipe to use tapioca starch, which I happened to have on hand for pie-making, since I was all out of cornstarch. Either would work equally well.
Mexican Chocolate-Vanilla Ginger Pudding Pops
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons tapioca starch or corn starch
pinch of salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Combine the sugars, tapioca or corn starch, and salt in a small bowl, stir well. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk and egg yolks, then add the sugar mixture. Place the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When it begins to simmer, cook it gently, still stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about one minute. Then divide the pudding equally between two heatproof bowls.
Add the chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne to one bowl, and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. To the other bowl, add the vanilla and ginger and stir well. Let cool for about 15 minutes until the pudding is room temperature.
Spoon the pudding into popsicle molds, alternating spoonfuls of chocolate and vanilla pudding. Tap the molds on the counter to get rid of any bubbles. Insert sticks and place popsicle molds in freezer for at least six hours (up to 1 week).
Makes 6-8 pops, depending on how large your popsicle molds are.