An everyday treat that appeared on dinner tables throughout Israel, when salad, eggs, black bread, and spreads were the norm, Milky (a proprietary name) was no less cherished for its ubiquity. Did you eat the cream first, or try to make it last till the bottom of the cup? There were decisions to be made. Of course, there was also Dani, the moniker given to Israel's plain chocolate pudding cup, also beloved. But Milky, well, it didn't get better than that.
Today, Milky commands a fleet of products, including snack cakes and stand-alone Milky cream (just check out the opening of this video from, yep, Milky's official YouTube channel). It may be plain chocolate pudding with whipped cream on top, but Milky is a national treasure. There's nothing, nostalgically speaking, like opening up an industrially produced cup of Milky—but, it's even more delicious in its homemade rendition.
Making the pudding
For the pudding, I went with a classic milk-based cornstarch pudding flavored with chopped chocolate. It starts off with dissolving the cornstarch in a small amount of milk (making a slurry). Then, you heat up the milk with the sugar until it begins to steam, which takes a few minutes. When the milk is just about at a simmer, pour in the cornstarch slurry and whisk until it thickens up and adheres to the sides of the pot (see photo uppermost right). Then the chopped chocolate goes in, optionally some butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk until it's all nice and combined.
Prepping the cream
To make sure that the cream on top holds its shape, you want the pudding to be thoroughly chilled before you pipe the cream on. You also want to whip your cream until it holds stiff peaks. Then, spoon the entire amount into a large piping bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe in a spiral over the cooled puddings. (A shortcut here is to use ready-made whipped cream; there are some good-quality (and kosher) brands out there. I like Clover Sonoma.)
Assembling the pudding cups
To get the full Milky effect, you'll want to use dessert cups. (Here are the ones I used.) It can be trickier than it should be to get the pudding neatly into dessert cups; a ladle worked best for me. (I used the one that came with my Instant Pot.) Fill your cups about ⅔ of the way full, leaving plenty of room for the cream.
Next, carefully pipe the cream in a spiral over the pudding, like frosting a cupcake. Just to be a little extra Israeli, I topped mine with Israeli candy, Klik, that's sort of like crispy malt balls. M&Ms would also be great as an extra. I'm pretty sure there's a Milky out there that comes with M&M type candies, so, you know, totally authentic.
Looking for more Israeli sweets?
- Halva Mousse with Silan Drizzle and Feathered Halva - This quintessential taste of Israel is super simple to make.
- Israeli Chocolate Cookie Bites - Another hotly anticipated Israeli kid treat (also for grownups)
Homemade Milky (dairy)
- Individual dessert cups (5)
- 4 oz chocolate, chopped - 115 g, usually 1 bar
- 2 ½ cups milk, divided
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil - softened, optional
- 1 cup cream
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
Make the cornstarch slurry:
- Mix ½ cup milk with the cornstarch and whisk until completely dissolved and smooth.
Make the pudding:
- Add 2 cups milk and place in a small pot with the sugar and salt.
- Over a medium flame, heat the milk and sugar mixture until steam begins to rise and it's starting to simmer, about 5-7 minutes.
- Pour in the cornstarch slurry while whisking. Cook until the mixture thickens and begins to cling to the sides of the pot, another 5 minutes or so. Adjust the heat down if it begins to boil too vigorously.
- Stir in the chocolate, vanilla, and butter/coconut oil, if using. Stir until smooth and combined.
Divide and chill:
- Ladle into serving cups and chill completely in the refrigerator, at least 1 hour.
Make whipped cream
- Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Beat in the powdered sugar.
- Transfer cream to a large piping bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe the cream in a spiral over the chilled puddings.