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chocolate pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream (and a happy birthday giveaway)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

chocolate pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
“I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.” -Anne Lamott
chocolate pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
chocolate pudding cakes with no-churn ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
Three years ago to(almost)day I started The Vanilla Bean Blog. I don’t have a grandiose paragraph to write about this space, but I have to say that I never imagined all the wonderful opportunities that have come my way would happen. When I began blogging, I was a stay-at-home mom with two small children looking for a little outlet to help keep my whirling, never-quiet mind slightly sane. Now, I am a working-from-home mom with so many good things filling my plate.

It’s been a lovely adventure.

And I have to thank YOU (yes, you!). So many beautiful people have come into my life because of this small space, and I am blown away by your kindness and encouragement. So here’s a little giveaway to give you my thanks. There will be 4 winners for these four items: a copy of Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book, a year subscription to Pure Green Magazine, a bottle of Lavender Extract from Hatchery, and a copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five. I’ll pick the winners in one week, just leave a comment on this post with your email address. (And much thanks to Cooks Illustrated, Pure Green Magazine, Bread in Five, and Hatchery for donating such lovely gifts!) (Also, because the items are being shipped from the companies listed, the giveaway is only open to US residents.)
vanilla bean blog giveaway
And, of course, there’s chocolate pudding cakes with basil ice cream. This recipe is actually one of my very first posts, but I decided to re-do it. I’ve changed the recipe a bit here and there, and since it is one of my most favorite desserts, I thought it deserved another chance to shine (not buried away deep in the archives).

And! Minneapolis peeps! Recently I asked for your help in voting for me in the Saveur Food Blog Awards, and a good friend commented that if I won, “I bet she’ll make us chocolate cake!” I agreed, and now want to follow through on my promise. If you are a Minnesota local (or will be around here this Thursday) would you like to join me for chocolate cake and some sweet door prizes at Forage Modern Workshop? We’ll also be celebrating the Vanilla Bean Blog turning three. RSVP only, so if you’re interested in coming, please email me at thevanillabeanblog@gmail.com and I’ll give you all the details. I’d love to meet you and say thanks!

pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream | the vanilla bean blog
Chocolate Pudding Cakes
A friend gave me this recipe years ago, and I don’t know where it originally came from. I’ve tweaked it a bit here and there, adding some salt, vanilla, and bourbon. And more chocolate.

I used large, oven-safe, porcelain bowls here. They are a bit larger than a typical ramekin, and I filled 2. You will be able to fill about 6 regular ramekins. I have also baked this in a 9 inch pie pan, and it came out beautifully. And! I did make the batter earlier in the day, filled the ramekins and set them in the fridge until I was ready to bake them, and they came out great. If you do this, add a minute or two to the baking time.

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
a good pinch of salt
5 tablespoons flour

Preheat the oven to 375.

Melt chocolate and butter together, making sure chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the eggs, yolks, and sugar at medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, bourbon (if using), and salt, and mix to combine. Add the flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Add the slightly cooled chocolate and butter, and mix lightly.

Fill 6 ramekins (or two oven safe bowls, see above note) halfway and place them on a baking sheet. Bake 11-12 minutes. The edges should be starting to bake up, but the center should still look underdone. Let the cakes cool a few minutes, and then serve alone or with basil ice cream.

No-Churn Basil Ice Cream
This ice cream is a teensy bit fussy. The basil is steeped in cream, and then must be blended in a blender to chop the basil into fine pieces. However, you must be careful not to over whip the cream.[Trust me. This is a disaster.] I found the cream took a bit longer to turn to peaks after being blended. Also, 1/4 cup basil made for a milder tasting ice cream – the basil flavor was present, but subtle. 1/3 cup boasted of basil, and was my personal preference. If you own a Pullman pan, this works nicely to freeze the ice cream in (plus it has a lid!) but otherwise a 9 x 5 loaf pan works great.

1 can [14 ounces] sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
a good pinch of salt
1/4-1/3 cup basil
2 cups cold heavy cream

In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream and basil until just simmering. Take off the heat and let basil steep for 30 minutes. Place the mixture in a blender and blend until basil is chopped, but make sure not to over whip the cream (I used an immersion blender which worked nicely).

Fill a large bowl with ice and fill 1/3 full with water to create an ice bath. Place a smaller bowl inside the ice bath. Pour basil-cream mixture into the smaller bowl, let sit until cool, and then refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. (You can also skip the ice bath and put the slightly cooled basil mixture in the fridge overnight, and then proceed to blending.)

In a medium bowl, stir together condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. In a large bowl of a standing mixer, beat the basil-cream on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into condensed milk mixture. Fold until fully combined. Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. Pour into a regular sized loaf pan, and freeze until firm, 6 hours [or, covered, up to 1 week].
pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream | the vanilla bean blog

  • Reply
    molly yeh
    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    happy happy haaaaaaaappy birthday, mr. blog!!!!!! or is it a mrs.? hehe. what better way to celebrate than with these super cute cakes and BASIL ice cream??!!?! man oh man. i need that in my life. it reminds me of the basil pudding my mom made me when i had my wisdom teeth out…

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Happy Birthday to your blog! It’s been such an inspiration to my baking needs, and sometimes caused unnecessary late night cravings.

    • Reply
      Helen
      Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Love your site will be coming back for more good ideas. Thank You

  • Reply
    Michelle @ Hummingbird High
    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I’m sure I’ve told you this many times already, but CONGRATS on your Saveur win!!! You deserve it! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and it’s been fun to see you watch and grow and accomplish what you have. Happy blog birthday!

  • Reply
    Ellen
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Happy 3 year anniversary! I wish you many more years of good food (and happiness). 🙂

  • Reply
    Meghan
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:18 am

    It’s funny how the place that you found your sanity those three years ago, is now a place where I, too, can quiet my own myriad thinking. Your blog feels soft and safe; a home to not just your recipes, but to you, and your readers. Thanks for welcoming us in, with every picture, word, quote, and thought. It’s truly been a lovely stay.

    Now about this ice cream. One word: Delightful.

    Happy almost blogiversary, and congrats on your journey thus far. I hope that neither your physical nor metaphorical plate never empty.

  • Reply
    Deborah
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Congrats on your three year blog birthday (maybe blirthday?!) Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and photos. Sure wish I lived near you because I would be showing up for chocolate cake!

  • Reply
    thelittleloaf
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 2:14 am

    The happiest of blog birthdays! Look how far you’ve come. I love the idea of the basil ice cream too.

  • Reply
    Patti G
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Congrats on your 3 year journey!! I truly enjoy your blog so please keep going. I loe basil so may have to give this a try!

  • Reply
    cori
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Congratulations! Your recipes always look insanely good.

  • Reply
    RR Carrington
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:53 am

    I started reading your posts for the recipes, but now I find I enjoy them for so much more… The heart-felt quotes, the photography, the thoughts you share. Thank you for taking the time, sharing a piece of you, and congratulations on your success with site!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Three years?! Time FLIES! And I’m so happy you’re hear! xx

  • Reply
    Dana
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 5:11 am

    wow basil ice cream sounds fab

  • Reply
    Katherine
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Happy Birthday! Mmm…bourbon. I love adding it to baked things.

  • Reply
    Jane Lustgarten
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:49 am

    I own a wonderful Bed and Breakfast in Vermont. I sure could use those wonderful gifts!

  • Reply
    angie
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Happy Birthday to The Vanilla Bean Blog!

  • Reply
    Mallory
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Happy 3rd Blog Birthday! It is amazing what these small little places on the Internet can lead to and how they can sweeten our lives in ways we never could imagine. Again, congrats and I wish you many years of blissful blogging! And the cake…Oy!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Love your blog! Photos, recipes, etc are terrific.

  • Reply
    Leigh
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:27 am

    So glad this blog exists! And I hope I win because those books sound fabulous! 🙂

  • Reply
    jim
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:31 am

    I just found you recently and I’m enjoying your posts AND recipes. I will try the Chocolate Pudding Cake the moment the chocolate fudge brownies I made over the weekend, have disappeared! Thank you and again, I read your home page and I find you very interesting and informative, vanilla is one of my favorite ingredients, and I plan to make some soon.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:32 am

    CONGRATS!!! Three years young! That cake looks fantastic.

  • Reply
    Simone
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Those cakes look amazing!

  • Reply
    Laura
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:52 am

    So glad I’ve subscribed – everything I’ve made from your blog has received rave reviews! May you have many more delicious years to come. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:52 am

    Happy Birthday to the blog! This dessert looks amazing!

  • Reply
    susanne
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 7:55 am

    happy birthday my dear?thank you for sharing this birthday chocolate cake!

  • Reply
    May
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:02 am

    I stumbled upon your blog one day and been reading it ever since. Congrats!

  • Reply
    LeAnn
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Congrats on the blog!

  • Reply
    Brian @ A Thought For Food
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Bourbon optional? I don’t think so. 😉 Happy blog anniversary! So glad you’re here and I hope you stay around for many years to come!

  • Reply
    sabine
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:16 am

    What a cool combination of flavors to celebrate one´s 3rd birthday! I´ve discovered your blog through the Saveur winners site, so a double congratulations for both happy events! PS: Love the tone of your writing, fits the colors of your pictures so perfectly. Colored, with sometimes a hint of grey, if I may say so. Please keep on doing what you´re doing!

  • Reply
    Christine
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Congratulations to you! Wishing you all the best!

  • Reply
    Sara @ Cake Over Steak
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Congrats on your blog-iversary AND Saveur!!! You are so talented, and this is such a lovely space. And OH MAN this is probably the most awesome giveaway I have ever seen. I want it all. If you secretly pick me on purpose I will love you forever. 😀 Heheh just kidding …… but not really. Also, chocolate and basil are two of my favorite flavors. Cake and ice cream = two of my favorite food groups. So this post wins all around. xoxo

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Happy anniversary! I just love the space you’ve created here and have so enjoyed seeing all the great things happening for you. Here’s to three more amazing years!!!

  • Reply
    Jacqui Schmidt Stiverts
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:28 am

    That basil I’ve cream sounds especially tasty! YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sonja
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Happy blogiversary! I often look to your site for inspiration and today’s visit did not fail to inspire me. I cannot wait to make these chocolate pudding cakes and basil ice cream!

  • Reply
    Naomi
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Happy blog birthday! I love your space here. It’s always full of great writing, food and photography.

  • Reply
    vicki browne
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:46 am

    i can always use another chocolate cake recipe! happy birthday!

  • Reply
    shanna mallon
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Oh, sweet Sarah, every time I come over here I am more in awe of your gifts. Beautiful space, beautiful post, beautiful cakes (!!!!) — congratulations on 3 years and here’s to many more!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Happy birthday Sarah! I’m forever grateful that you started this blog. Inspired me endlessly. That I got to meet you in person after talking about it for years, and now we get to be real life neighbors-ish. I’m better for knowing you!

  • Reply
    Mirijam
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

    This looks delicious! Just like the chocolate loaf cake you posted a while ago which I still make on special occasions. I just got into serious making bread again and as I still have trouble with that I’d look particularly forward to the copy of the New Artisan Bread in Five. Now I’m already excited 😉

  • Reply
    Nik@ABrownTable
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Happy, happy birthday, Sarah to you and your beautiful blog! You are one of the kindest and sweetest people I’ve gotten to know through blogging and remain a constant source of inspiration. Cheers!

  • Reply
    Meghan @ Cake 'n' Knife
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Happy birthday!! I can’t wait to try that basil ice cream – YUM! Gorgeous photos as always 🙂

  • Reply
    Iris - Writer/Photographer
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:16 am

    irisvip94@gmail.com !

    Happy blog birthday!

  • Reply
    cynthia | two red bowls
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Happy happy blog birthday, Sarah!!!!!!! It was such a joy to meet you last week — thank you so much for sharing your blog with us. And oh my lord, this pudding cake — I can’t resist anything chocolate and gooey. And with basil ice cream, which is just blowing my mind in the BEST way. I need to try this so soon!

  • Reply
    Meg@ Beard and Bonnet
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Happy blogging birthday!!! I am so glad you created this space, soooo much inspiration.

  • Reply
    Shelley
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:52 am

    Congrats!! These cakes and ice cream look divine. I may sub coconut for condensed milk in the ice cream however 🙂

  • Reply
    Eilish Spear
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Happy happy birthday to your beautiful, lovely blog! It is endlessly inspiring for me, both in baking and in life, and I thank you for all that you do.

  • Reply
    Tasneem
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:54 am

    That ice cream sounds delicious. I remember making these pudding cakes off of your recipe before but I chickened out with the ice cream. No time like the present to revisit this recipe.

  • Reply
    J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Very cool, for both recipes. When I first got into baking I was all about no churn ice cream (I know its not technically baking but for me baking meant ‘making dessert’). Haven’t made one of those in a while. I guess its technically a semi freddo? And the cake looks amazing, that first picture is just everything.

  • Reply
    Dana
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Congratulations on 3 years of blogging. Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring your readers with your photographs and recipes. You deserve everything you’ve received.

  • Reply
    Kara
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:18 am

    You are hands down my favorite food blog! Everything you make is just perfect but what’s even better is that I’ve been able to recreate many of your recipes and they have turned out just as lovely! Congrats on 3 years! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:19 am

    A blog after my own heart. Lots of coffee, vanilla, and fantastic eclectic recipes. Your little space has been a big inspiration for my baking life. Have a wonderful blog birthday!

  • Reply
    Lindsey @ The Hungry Hydrologist
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:24 am

    I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now- congrats on 3 years and the Saveur award! Keep up the good work.

  • Reply
    Allison
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Happy birthday! I enjoy reading your blog very much- thank you for all that you do. 🙂

  • Reply
    Georgia Thompson
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

    HOLY COW!! These two look so lucious! AND…congrats!! Im new here to your blog but I’m LOVING it! You are so talented: I love the pictures and the recipes look and sound so delicious! I cant wait to try the NO-CHURN ice cream since I dont have an ice cream maker! YAY!

  • Reply
    Molly
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Congratulations on your blogging journey that has kept us well fed and has reminded us of the beauty of food!

  • Reply
    Sini | my blue&white kitchen
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I’m dying over here… That first picture? OOOOOH!!!! Gooey goodness. And no-churn ice cram? Perfect as I still don’t own an ice cream machine.

    Congrats on 3 years of blogging! You are one of the kindest souls on the whole world wide web, Sarah. Thank you so much for being such a never-ending source of inspiration. xoxo

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Your blog is beautiful and continues to be inspiring. Happy birthday!

  • Reply
    erin {yummysupper}
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Hey there Sarah, Congrats on your 3rd birthday! I have to tell you that I just saw Emma Gardner and Emma Galloway here in Berkeley and they were both singing your praises and saying how much they enjoyed hanging with you in Vegas:)
    xoxo
    E

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Happy birthday to the blog! These look amazing, glad you decided to repost!

  • Reply
    Emily
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Holy cow these recipes look great. And there’s basil in my csa box today… Happy birthday to your blog!

  • Reply
    Lisa H.
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    such an amazing three years, my friend. congratulations on all your success!

  • Reply
    Haley
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Congratulations on 3 years! I always am so happy to visit your blog. Looking forward to more wonderful recipes.
    Haleyberry@yahoo.com

  • Reply
    Louise | Cygnet Kitchen
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Congratulations and a very Happy Birthday!! Sadly I don’t live in the States, so no amazing giveaways for me, but melting chocolate heaven puddings make the perfect consolation (and will also make my husband’s weekend!) Your blog is wonderful and such an inspiration, looking forward to another three years of thoughtful posts and gorgeous recipes. Love from England x

  • Reply
    kristan@the-broken-bread
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Wow, it must feel so good to have 3 lovely years under your belt. You have a stunning blog that I am so thankful for. Thank you for sharing everything that you do. These little cakes look like heaven, and topped off with basil ice cream? I can’t handle how yummy this all sounds. Congrats again of your nomination and win! It really was so nice to meet you at the saveur event. I must admit I was a bit nervous to say hi, but I am glad that we got to chat!.

  • Reply
    Amanda Paa
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I’m so happy you started this space three years ago – your food is beautiful, words are inspiring and so fun to watch your family grow. xo

  • Reply
    Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Happy birthday to the Vanilla Bean Blog! I cannot think of a better way to celebrate than with these chocolate pudding cakes!

  • Reply
    Constance
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Congratulations on your third blogiversary!

  • Reply
    Megan
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Happy Birthday!! You have such a lovely blog…congratulations. Thank you for such a great giveaway. Fingers crossed!

    ~megan

  • Reply
    courtney
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    happy blog birthday! i was wondering, have you ever tried the recipe using a different herb?

  • Reply
    Staci
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Happy Birthday! It is a most wonderful, fruitful space indeed. Keep on rocking

  • Reply
    Jen
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Happiest of Birthdays!

  • Reply
    Heather Taylor
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Yay for blog birthdays!

  • Reply
    pamela p
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    congratulations!!! such beautiful work you’ve done here. i remember making the chocolate pots and basil ice cream the first time it was posted – 3 years ago this summer i think? i made it for family in town for a little dinner party after the kids went to bed. many were skeptical about the basil but i promised them it would be amazing together and it totally was. thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Tuesday
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Happy Birthday to your Blog! I am so thankful that I stumbled across it and make it a regular place to land when trying something new in the kitchen. You have helped me get over the simple and mundane and venture into new kitchen territory! Thank you so much!!!

  • Reply
    Leah Thompson
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Congratulations on the Vanilla Bean Blog turning three and for winning the Saveur Food Blog Awards!

    I just love your blog. Every time I see a new recipe, it just makes me salivate. Please continue to add more sweetness to our lives!

  • Reply
    Kelly Jesch
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Congratulation! I enjoy following you and wish you a wonderful year to come’.

  • Reply
    dee
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    HappyBirthday, let’s all have basil ice cream Vanilla Bean!. I really enjoy your recipes. Congratulations on your Saveur win too. I found you through Pinterest photos and drilling down to your blog! Maybe that is not the main way folks find you – anyhow I did. You always create the good things I like to cook and eat too. So I look forward to trying your latest. Basil is about my favorite item on the planet. Never thought of ice cream though Yum.

  • Reply
    Rose
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Happy 3 year anniversary! I love your blog and the recipes you post. I am so glad I came across you on Facebook! Keep baking.

  • Reply
    Emily
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Sarah! Happy birthday all around!!!! But, mostly I wanted to say that I so wish I were able to come down to the cities for your celebration of your (SO well deserved) Saveur award, but we have an event up here in Duluth on Thursday that I can’t miss (and day trips with babies are complicated anyway). Your blog is ever an inspiration! Congratulations to you.

  • Reply
    Kansen
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Congrats! Classy and very attractive site. Without fail, your posts leave me dreaming and drooling (the good kind of drooling, and yes, there is such a thing) whenever I read and take in the delisousness that goes on here.

  • Reply
    Maddy
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I love everything about your blog and visit it often. Your recipes strike such the right balance between decadent and wholesome, innovative and comforting… I’m never disappointed, and frequently inspired to experiment in flavors and styles. Happy three years! I only wish I still lived in Minneapolis and could come taste for myself the magic of your chocolate cake.

  • Reply
    Bill
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Congratulations on your anniversary and your Saveur win. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Reply
    Madeline
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    Awesome giveaway! And congratulations!! What I wouldn’t give for a scoop of that ice cream 🙂

  • Reply
    Krys
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    This chocolate pudding looks delicious! I’m a sucker for a gooey center. So happy you re-posted this recipe. Congrats on such a beautiful, well written blog that I enjoy visiting time and time again.

  • Reply
    amy
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! Inspired as a fellow blogger by all the beautiful work you do here. Keep it up, we appreciate your beautiful photos and dreamy recipes (like basil ice cream, gahhh!)

  • Reply
    Guinnevere
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Happy birthday! I’m just starting my own blog and I love the styling in your photos! I find it to be very hard to get good shots of ingredients on a table. I’ll just have to keep trying, though.
    The flavor combinations in these recipes sound delicious, by the way.

  • Reply
    Grace
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Happy blog birthday! So glad you share this space with us. I can’t wait to get the GF Artisan Bread in 5 book!!

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Ever since I found this blog, I’ve loved looking at all of your pictures and discovering how you can write such beautiful prose. Happy birthday, and best of luck for the future!

  • Reply
    Kasey
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    You are one of the most inspiring people I have been lucky enough to stumble into thanks to this wild Internet thing we do. Thank you for creating such a beautiful, humble, and warm place for us to come to. I hope someday soon we get to meet in person. Like for real. xoxo

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 11:56 pm

    Yummm – Happy Birthday!

  • Reply
    Ala
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Aw, I love a good follow-through (especially when it’s chocolate cake–and ESPECIALLY when I can count on so little in my life to follow through!). You’re splendid and I’m so lucky to have started following your lovely blog recently. I also made a no-churn ice cream recipe lately that you might enjoy, since we’re on the topic of ice cream! http://www.wallflourgirl.com/2014/05/26/biscoff-meringue-ice-cream-ice-cream-maker-sweetened-condensed-milk/ Thanks again for sharing these awesome cakes with us!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Happy Blog Birthday! Basil ice-cream sounds amazing!!

  • Reply
    taylor @ greens & chocolate
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Happy anniversary! Also – so bummed I’m just now seeing that you’re making chocolate cake TONIGHT! If we weren’t having people over tonight I’d be all over that cake 😉

  • Reply
    Marie
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I can’t wait to use my basil plants to try out some of this delicious ice cream! I’m planning to put the bowl of my ice cream maker in the freezer this afternoon to whip some up this weekend 🙂

  • Reply
    Linn
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    I’m a relatively new visitor to your blog, and I absolutely love it! Keep it up! 🙂

  • Reply
    meghan
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    happy happy birthday to your sweet blog!

  • Reply
    kristie
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Chocolate and basil, yes please! I must have this in my life right now!

  • Reply
    Gigi Guerrette
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    Good evening Sarah ….. congratulations on your 3yr Anniversary – amazing!
    I’m deeply in love with your Chocolate Cake w/ Basil Frosting. The recipe is perfect and the flavor combination is divine. My husband and I celebrate the Vanilla Bean Blog each time we create a delectable creation from one of your recipes.
    I sincerely wish I lived in Minnesota in order to enjoy a piece of cake and celebrate your Saveur Food Blog Award. I wish you continued success and look forward to more posts from the Vanilla Bean Blog.

  • Reply
    tina
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    So excited to discover your blog!

  • Reply
    Laurel N
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I;ll have to try the ice ream–did that come from ATK? (LOVE them.)

  • Reply
    Johanna
    Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you cooks illustrated for tweeting this post! Now I have a new awesome blog to follow! happy birthday!

  • Reply
    Omuruga
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 5:37 am

    Happy 3rd Bday blog!!!
    I stumbled upon your blog today, may be its a sign for me to win? Congrats!

  • Reply
    Kari Evans
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I’m enjoying your Vanilla Bean Blog so much; it is inspiring (and with such delicious results!). Congratulations to you on the birthday and here’s to the years ahead!

  • Reply
    Ashley
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

    The New Artisian Bread in Five book is simply amazing! I am so intrigued by Pure Green Magazine, looks beautiful, want to see more!

  • Reply
    Talia
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Happy 3rd year of blogging!Thank you for creating a beautiful, calming space filled with lovely (and real) stories and of course, delicious recipes. ????

  • Reply
    Caroline
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Happy birthday! I love your blog – it always has such lovely recipes and beautiful photos!

  • Reply
    Grace B.
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sponsoring this generous giveaway 🙂 Congrats to your blog!

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Love your blog! Congrats on the wonderful birthday! Here’s to many more years!

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    Minda
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Saw this recipe for your chocolate pudding cakes. Thought they would go with vanilla ice cream we are making this weekend. I had some vanilla beans I got for my birthday that we want to use. Happy birthday to you! Can’t wait to make them. Love your blog.

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    Danzel
    Friday, June 6, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    I’m so excited by the recipes, I keep forgetting to leave a comment. Happy Birthday, Vanilla Bean Blog! Congrats!

  • Reply
    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 6:25 am

    […] chocolate pudding cake with no churn basil ice cream. um, what? […]

  • Reply
    stargirl
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Love this blog. I just spent hours on here last night and made that amazing Iice cream with some purple basil I had that was leftover from the farmers market last week. So so good. I’m going to melt some to make it just a tad thinner and put it in my zoku today. YAYYY!!!

  • Reply
    Hillary
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I haven’t thought about pudding cake for ages and I think I need some in my life, like, right now!!

  • Reply
    Jade Sheldon-Burnsed
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 10:17 am

    How wonderful! Happiest of birthdays!

  • Reply
    Abby
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Absolutely stunning!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Congratulations!

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    ATasteOfMadness
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Wow! 3 years! congrats!
    This looks like the perfect dessert. I love it!

  • Reply
    Yoojin
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Your blog is so so so lovely 🙂
    Happy anniversary! And I can’t wait to make the chocolate pudding cakes.. yum~

  • Reply
    Diana
    Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Tasty looking cakes and ice cream!

  • Reply
    Linda
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Happy 3 year anniversary. I lived in the Twin Cities for 17 years but now have lived in Oregon for nearly 12. Your invitation makes it sound like a reason to move back. Sounds like a great adventure and you sound like an amazing person to meet and get to know. Keep up the great work!

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    Millie l Add A Little
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Happy blog birthday!!!!! 🙂 Those cakes look AMAZING aswell, may I add!
    http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

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    Courtney
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    !!!
    Happy 3rd birthday !
    I just recently followed this blog. So happy I did.
    Hope I win! I’d freak!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Yay! Happy blog-birthday!

  • Reply
    Rena
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    happy birthday!!! this looks delicious!!

  • Reply
    b123
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Congrats!

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    Nickie Gorsky
    Sunday, June 8, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Congratulations! I’ve been with you almost from the beginning…I have learned so much and I thank you for your creative and super delicious recipes most of which I have journaled into my personal favorites. Long live Vanilla Bean!

  • Reply
    Hollie
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Happy Birthday and thank you for all the inspirations! I have a slight obsession with the sweet/herb combo and love referencing your blog!

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    Danie
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:16 am

    It’s all so happy I can’t handle it! Congrats to you!

  • Reply
    Jayne
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Congrats on 3 years! I only recently started following your blog, and have really enjoyed trying out some of your recipes! The no-churn ice creams are a favorite in my house, and I have a huge amount of basil to use up! Can’t wait to try these chocolate pudding cakes and basil ice cream!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I’ve been reading your blog for months now! It’s great! Thank you!

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    Valentina @Hortus
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Sarah! So sorry to be late, but happy birthday! You have really done an awesome job! I’ll be following of course, and I can’t wait to see this blog go on!

    I absolutely gotta try this basil ice cream. I once saw it at a gelateria but didn’t get it (and immediately regretted it) but I love the idea!

  • Reply
    salvegging
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Hey Sarah, Congrats. There’s a lot of blogs out there and yours is one I keep coming back to. I love your flavor pairings, more involved projects and dedication to dough! It encourages us to take risks and go forth, what more can you ask for in baking? Bravo.
    Love, Salvegging. mermaid.meredith@gmail.com

  • Reply
    Danielle T.
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Happy blog birthday! I have a ton of basil growing on my balcony and can’t wait to make some ice cream with it. Thanks for the great recipes, always.

  • Reply
    Ali
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Congratulations on your birthday blog!

  • Reply
    Annie
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

    I love that Anne Lamott quote. Congratulations on 3 years! Hope you had a great time at Forage – such a wonderful space.

  • Reply
    Danielle
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Congrats on your blog birthday! These cakes look like a great way to celebrate!

  • Reply
    Lu
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    That basil ice cream is so unique! Happy blog-versary 🙂

  • Reply
    Allie
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Congrats on your blog’s anniversary, and thanks for the no-churn basil ice cream recipe! I can’t wait to try it out!

  • Reply
    Victoria
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    This sounds amazing! Two of my favorite flavors together 🙂

  • Reply
    Leah
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    happy happy blog birthday! Your blog is a continual source of inspiration for me!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Suzi H
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Thank you thank you for the no-churn ice cream recipe! I’ve been drooling over all the beautiful ice creams that are popping up on various blogs with the warmer weather, but without an ice cream maker I thought I’d have to miss out. I can’t wait to put a batch in my freezer!

  • Reply
    jacquie
    Monday, June 9, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    Happy birthday to your blog!

  • Reply
    isabelle
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 12:05 am

    Happy celebration! It’s definitely frozen treat season so thank you!

  • Reply
    stephana bottom
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Happy Birthday! Can’t wait to use up more rhubarb and make your latest pie.

  • Reply
    Amy Huff
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Happy blog birthday and this recipe looks fantastic.

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    Savannagal
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    The pudding looks delish. I was looking for a recipe like this over the weekend. I ended up making a flourless chocolate cake instead. But I’m going to give this one a try next. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Chaya
    Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    happy birthday! i’m a huge fan of your blog. keep it up. and post some more frangelico recipes- i’ve got liquor that needs using up 🙂

  • Reply
    Lucrecer
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Found your blog recently and truly enjoying it. I will visit often.

  • Reply
    Grace
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    Looks so good!

  • Reply
    Candy
    Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Congratulations and Happy Birthday! I am so glad I found your blog…

  • Reply
    Heather
    Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    A decadent treat just right for celebrating a birthday! Made blackberry basil ice cream the last time my folks were here, and that was darn good. Now I’ll have to progress to straight basil. Game on! And happiest of blog birthdays! Look forward to many more…

  • Reply
    Weekend Reading. | The Fig's Heart — for the curious & the creative — Lauren Burkitt, Vancouver
    Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    […] pudding cakes with no-churn basil ice cream. | Summer cherry […]

  • Reply
    jessie
    Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway!

  • Reply
    Shortbread Peach Bars and Leah’s Link Loves | Georgia Peach On My Mind
    Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 8:44 am

    […] Chocolate pudding cakes ~ it is hard to say no to chocolate. […]

  • Reply
    Erika
    Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Congrats on your blog birthday! You’ve created such a beautiful, beautiful space in just three short years. I’m always in awe of your gorgeous photography + writing. (And I LOVE that you’re hosting a party for your blog with chocolate cake! Ahh! If only I lived closer!)

  • Reply
    Nancy Henry
    Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Happy Anniversary!!! Love the wonderful pictures and recipes!!!

  • Reply
    catherine clark
    Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:36 am

    congratulations on your blog-day! will definitely be making these! always a huge fan of your recipes + amazing photography!

  • Reply
    Marti J
    Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Did I miss the Give-away? Hope not. Gorgeous blog and great style. I came for the rhubarb, blueberry and apple pie. 😉

  • Reply
    The Fresh Kitchen » Favorites List: July 2014
    Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    […] how badly I want to make basil ice cream, but it sounds like something right up my alley. Here is a way to make it without an ice cream […]

  • Reply
    cakefordinner
    Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Tip: tie the basil up in a cheesecloth bag. Remove when the cream has cooled, squeezing to get out all the flavor. Remove the basil from the cheesecloth, mince it finely then return to the cream. This will avoid any chance of over processing. Chill the basil cream then whip as usual. Thanks for the recipes!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks for the great tip! I’ll try that next time I make it. 🙂

  • Reply
    linda friend
    Friday, January 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    I love the paragraph at the beginning of your blog. The special tools, then the older tools. That was exceptionally worded nicely. I’m interested in the choc. cake recipe too. Thanks for being on pinterest.

  • Reply
    My Top 20 Decadent Valentine’s Day Desserts | Awkward Irish Girl Blogs.
    Monday, February 9, 2015 at 2:44 am

    […] 7. These chocolate pudding cups are the cutest. […]

  • Reply
    Liane Vitiello
    Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Oh,
    Happy Birthday the blog! This Chocolate Pudding Cakes looks amazing!
    I liked it.

  • Reply
    Abigail C. Murdock
    Friday, March 18, 2016 at 8:52 am

    This chocolate pudding cake looks great. I love chocolate and I love basil, so will give it a try at home, hope that I will make it successfully. Thanks Sarah Kieffer for sharing this recipe!

  • Reply
    De meest funky Foodblogs volgens VanChefs
    Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 4:04 am

    […] Bean zijn wat meer geraffineerd dan bovenstaande blog, maar zeker niet meer gecompliceerd. De chocoladepudding-cakes met basilicumijs zijn to die […]

  • Reply
    Nana Mills
    Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Oh I love chocolate cake so much. Thank you Sarah you made my day! I’m gonna try this recipe tonight. So excited!

  • Reply
    Niina
    Friday, April 21, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Wow I just love this chocolate cake so much, this is amazing!
    Thanks for sharing this.

  • Reply
    Pamela
    Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I made this so many years ago and still consider it one of the best desserts I’ve ever made! I just came back to search for it and so glad to see it’s here and to also hear of all your successes! Congrats!

  • Reply
    Mark Evans
    Friday, February 16, 2018 at 1:48 am

    I have been reading your recipes for quite some time. And every time, it adds to my knowledge of cooking.

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