When I was around 12 years old, my parents took me to a dinner party at the home of Nela Rubinstein, widow of the great pianist Arthur Rubinstein. Nela was a great cook and wrote a cookbook right around the time of the party, in 1982, when she must have been in her mid seventies. She served a coffee pudding at the end of the meal which was unforgettable. Smooth and silky in texture, I have often thought of reproducing it, but never attempted it until now. What I came up with isn't quite the same, I think hers was a firmer, sliceable thing, but this version is quite tasty. Since Nela's book seems to be out of print, I may never know how she made hers but if anyone finds the original recipe, post it and send me a message! —navahfrost
cold brew coffee concentrate, I used Grady's
pinch of salt
optional: whipped cream or creme fraiche for serving
Crack the eggs in a small bowl, whisk them up and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add both sugars and stir until dissolved. Add the cup of heavy cream and the cold brew coffee and keep warm in the pot on low heat while you proceed.
In a small bowl, mix cornstarch with a few tablespoons of the evaporated milk and whisk until smooth and dissolved. Add the rest of the evaporated milk, stir and add to the pot. Stir gently and keep on low heat.
Temper the eggs by putting a few tablespoons of the heated mixture from the pot into the eggs, whisk and transfer back to the pot. Whisk constantly now until thickened, up to around 180 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the heat, whisk in the last tablespoon of butter, the kahlua, and the salt.
If it seems lumpy you can strain it with a fine meshed sieve. At this point you can pour the entire thing into a serving dish, or ladle out small portions into ramekins or little bowls for serving. Cover with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator to chill and set. For serving, either whipped cream on top or a dollop of creme fraiche will work here, depending on your preference. Enjoy!