Butterscotch Pudding and Brownie Parfaits

It feels like I haven’t blogged in ages! In all honesty, I’m not sure why it’s been so long. I’ve been in the kitchen as always, but nothing truly spectacular has come of it. Everything has been sort of mediocre, and I strive to share things that I think are excellent and worthy of sharing.  This last week and a half I realized how much I love to blog and what joy it brings to my life. I feel as though I have a sense of purpose; when sometimes it feels like I have none at all.  It absolutely makes my day when you like something as much as I do. Your wonderful comments bring me so much happiness and make me want to keep going!
I have a real love of custard based desserts, there is just something so good about the smooth creaminess of puddings. That, combined with the fact that they are so easy to make, always make them my go to dessert. And it turns out you love them too! The salted caramel puddings that I made a while back were a huge hit. So I decided to try out some butterscotch pudding, which I had never made before. And if I dare, these were just as good if not better than the salted caramel puddings.
My original idea for this pudding was just to have the pudding topped with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of chopped Skor chocolate, but then I realized I had some brownies in the freezer that I had made  a few weeks back and thought it would be perfect layered in between the pudding. I started off with a layer of the butterscotch pudding, a layer of freshly whipped cream, some Skor bits, the soft and chewy brownies, and then did it all over again. The texture was amazing, soft and creamy from the pudding and whipped cream, crunch from the skor bits, and soft and chewy from the brownies. Absolute perfection. And the butterscotch pudding- it’s amazing. It’s made with a combination of cornstarch and egg yolks. The egg yorks add a richness that you won’t get with cornstarch alone. I never thought I would like butterscotch pudding, but I love it more than chocolate now. It’s rich and creamy and it’s just a little boozy which is always good in my books!  I was actually surprised to discover that butterscotch pudding is actually made with butter and scotch! Who would have thought!
This dessert is simple enough for a weeknight dessert, but also wonderful for a party! I opted for individual parfaits but you could always make it in a trifle bowl as well.
*Note: I opted for homemade brownies for this recipe, but to keep it simple you could use your favourite box mix or store bought brownie bites.
Butterscotch Pudding and Brownie Parfaits
Makes 6, 7oz Parfaits 
For the pudding:
3 cups half and half, divided
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons scotch
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped Cream:
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Brownies:
I used a few of these brownies chopped up- but feel free to use your favourite recipe or store bought.
Topping (and middle layer): 1 chocolate covered english toffee bar crushed, such as skor or heath

Directions:

1. Whisk 1 cup half and half, egg yolks, and cornstarch in a large bowl until well blended and the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 cups of half and half, brown sugar, and salt. Over medium-high heat mix until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes just to a boil. Remove from heat, and gradually mix the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Pour back into the same saucepan. Whisk over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and boils, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter, scotch and Vanilla.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk whipping cream and sugar on high speed until stiff peaks form.
4. To assemble: Divide half the pudding among 6 cups or ramekins, spoon or pipe half the whipped cream over. Sprinkle with half of the crushed toffee bar. Chop brownies into small/bite sized pieces and make a layer over the whipped cream. Top with the remaining pudding and whipped cream. Top with a piece of brownie and sprinkle with the remaining crushed toffee bar.
* Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.
Enjoy!
Jessica
Pudding adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts.