Becoming a food blogger and rubbing virtual elbows with so many like minded souls, has opened up my food universe and introduced me to things I might otherwise have never known, existed! Take instant pudding for example. This wonder of food science (some may  say culinary abomination, but, potayto potahto..... meat, poison) requires no cooking and sets instantly on contact with water! I might actually be spooked, if I were not so curious and amazed.

I'd read about it on Rick's blog, Bittersweet and my curiosity was instantly (yes, yes, absolutely intended) piqued. I know most serious foodies would rather die than admit to liking instant anything, but this stuff is seriously fun to make and unbelievably bolstering and comforting to eat. And, it totally panders to my fascination with both green foods and uh, pistachios. Big surprise, right? ;)

I had such a kick out of making the cookie cups and filling them with the almost luridly green pistachio scented goo! Thank you Biren for lugging them all the way to Singapore so I could lose my instant pudding virginity ;) Making these brought back all the gleeful joy of the mud pie maestro I was at seven! The pastry is based on the classic French pate sablee which I love. My twist was flavouring it with cocoa for a dark and delicious contrast to the sweet, creamy and fragrant pistachio filling. Rick, if you're reading, this one's for you, for all the giggles you've given and for pointing the way to the greatness that is pistachio pudding!

and THAT"S how you do it!...if you're wondering, no, I do not have tartlet moulds...

If you follow Biren's blog, Roti n Rice, you may already know about her trip to Singapore, amongst other places, recently. Of course, we met up for one brief and rather rushed but enjoyable afternoon. We ate, we walked, we shopped, we broiled under the fierce noon day sun. Forget expensive salon tans; 15 minutes, sleeveless under the unrelenting Singapore sun, even with sunscreen, will leave you as beautifully bronzed as a rotisserie chicken. And, above all, We talked and talked and then talked a bit more. Then of course, she showed me hers........ and I showed her mine. Cameras my peeps......c-a-m-e-r-a-s. Really, what did you think?!?

If you'd like to know all the glorious, food driven, full colour details, be sure to check out Biren's post here.  By the way, just so you guys know, I'm not done with all this pistachio pudding business.... yet. And now, down to business!

YES!!! I bit it and put it back - George Costanza's got nothing on me ;)

Prep 40 mins (including chilling time)     Cook 12 mins     Makes 12

150 g (1 1/2 cups) plain or all purpose flour
75 g (3/4 cup) icing/confectioner's sugar, sift
4 Tbsp pure cocoa powder, sift
1/2 tsp fine salt
75 g (1/2 cup) soft butter
Yolk from 1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling and Garnish

1 pack Jello pistachio flavoured instant pudding mix
1 2/3 cup cold milk
A little coarsely chopped roasted pistachios for garnish
A little coarsely chopped dark chocolate for garnish


Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly with a whisk.

Make a well in the middle of flour mixture and add the butter, egg yolk and vanilla extract.

Using your hand, mix together the butter, yolk and vanilla extract. Gradually draw the flour mixture into the butter and yolk mixture with your hand and continue to mix until you have a soft, smooth dough. Stop working the mixture as soon as you have a smooth dough.

Wrap dough with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven at 190 C (370 F) and remove dough from fridge. Divide into 12 equal pieces.  Place a piece into each depression of a 12 cup non stick muffin tray. Press and shape dough into a cup or tartlet shape, using the base of a small drinking glass to flatten the bottom.

Prick bottoms with a fork two or three times. This will prevent bottoms from puffing up during baking. Chill tray with dough in it for 15 mins. Again, this will prevent dough from puffing up in the oven.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove from oven and cool briefly before removing from muffin tray and cooling on rack.

When cups/tart shells are completely cool, prepare filling. Put pudding mix into a roomy bowl and whisk in the milk until smooth and thickened.

Put a generous tablespoon of pistachio pudding into each cup/tart case or pipe in if you're feeling fancy. Garnish each cup/tartlet with either chopped pistachio, chocolate or both. Serve with coffee or milk. I think these may be too robustly flavoured to go with tea.