Don’t let the title fool you…this is NOT pudding! It’s a desert made by layering Lady Fingers with rich chocolate filling and served with whipped cream.
Ice Box Pudding has been a family tradition since well before I was born. It’s been handed down from my Great-Great-Grandma, to my Great-Grandma, to my Grandma, to my dad mom, and now to me. Traditionally the desert served for the men’s birthdays (instead of cake), in my immediate family, it is the desert served on Christmas Eve. You see, my dad’s birthday is Christmas Eve. My Grandma was adamant that on Christmas Eve they celebrated my dad’s birthday and not Christmas. Thus Ice Box Pudding is served on Christmas Eve.
Somewhere my mom has the recipe written in my Great-Grandma’s handwriting but unfortunately, she couldn’t find it in time for this post. Above is the recipe that was handed down to me. Written in my mom’s handwriting, laminated, and ringed into a small book full of other family recipes.
For such a long-standing family tradition, I realized that we had no pictures of us eating Ice Box Pudding! You’ll have to excuse the lack of photos for this post. For now you’ll have to settle on a bad photo from my cell phone. This year I’m determined to get some photos of us eating it (but not before this post goes up).
Ok, enough rambling…on to the recipe…
- 2 Baker semi-sweet chocolate (4 oz)
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 4 Tablespoons water
- 4 Eggs (separated)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- About 1.5 packages of pre-made lady fingers
- Cool Whip
Melt the first three ingredients together. Cool a little, then beat in the 4 egg yolks. Beat the 4 egg whites till stiff then fold into the chocolate. Add the vanilla.**
Layer in a bread pan, beginning with chocolate, then lady fingers, then chocolate…end with chocolate. Refrigerate over night. Top with Cool Whip before serving.
**This recipe has gone through some revisions through the years. Because it was originally made with raw eggs, we are now working on adapting it using additional cooking time and egg white substitutes (to avoid Salmonella!). After you beat in the 4 egg yolks, warm to a temp of 160 degrees (stirring constantly) then quickly plunge into ice water to cool. Use heavy whipping cream, powdered egg whites, or meringue powder as a substitute for egg whites. Please note, if you use the original recipe I have posted here, we are not responsible if someone get sick from raw eggs. Eat with caution. (Sorry, had to post a disclaimer).
Family traditions make for special memories. In our home, it is Ice Box Pudding on Christmas Eve. Do you have any special holiday traditions that you follow every year?