Thursday, 13 December 2007

Menu for Hope #4

Working my way through a whole lot of projects before I finally leave for my Christmas break (which is not even 48 hours away, how on earth am I going to finish everything...), I know one thing that's definitely on my priority list: Menu for Hope #4.

I take the reason mentioned above as an excuse not to explain everything in detail as I did last year - Lara of Cook & Eat has done it much better anyway! I'll just say that this is a very worth while way to spend some money during Christmas time supporting people in need: feeding starving children in Lesotho with food produced locally using sustainable farming methods. And to make it even better, it gives you the opportunity to win incredible prizes donated by bloggers all over the world! Please donate now!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Lemon Meringue Tartles - A Sugar Fix, quicker than you'd think

SHF#38: Fool-proof Chocolate Pudding

It might not come as a great surprise when I say that I haven't been posting much lately - or cooking for that matter (the "quick, I'm hungry" kind of cooking doesn't count here). However, I didn't want to miss out on this month's Sugar High Friday hosted by Zorra of 1x umruehren. Alas, due to work commitments, there was no way I could possibly make the sticky date pudding that I had already started dreaming of... It's one of the real Aussie desserts and to be found on many a restaurant menu in Sydney. I've had it only once so far and since then, always wanted to recreate it myself. This is what it would look like but it will have to wait until next year.

However, what does one do when coming home from a long day at work and craving for some comfort and food or comfort food so to speak? You skip dinner, of course, it's past 11pm after all, and rather go straight for dessert instead. In my opinion, there's not much a warm, smooth pudding couldn't fix - even if it actually is a custard, technically speaking.
This really fool-proof recipe fits perfectly into Zorra's theme "The proof is in the pudding" or "The proof of the pudding is in the eating", as the original version of the saying goes.

As I've mentioned before, I quite like the ready-to-use custard mixes you can get in Germany and always make sure to take some with me when visiting my family. However, in order to qualify for SHF#38, this one would have to be made from scratch. It's not quite as fast as opening a sachet but it's dead easy nonetheless. And in case I haven't said it yet, it's truly delicious!

Warm Chocolate Pudding (or Custard)

The ingredients

1/2 l whole milk
40g cornstarch
50g sugar
40g cocoa, dutch-processed
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg yolk (optional)
1 tbsp dark rum (optional)

The yield
2 big servings or 3 smaller ones

Pour 6 tablespoons of the milk (I like to use more) into a mixing bowl. Bring the remainder of the milk to a boil.

Add cornstarch, sugar, salt, vanilla bean paste, and cocoa to the reserved milk. Mix thoroughly with a balloon whisk until smooth.

Once the milk has reached boiling point, take it off the heat and pour in the cocoa mixture. Keep stirring while doing this.

Let the pudding come to a boil once more and let it cook for a minute, stirring all the time. The pudding will thicken quickly.

While still hot, whisk in add egg yolk and rum. You need to keep whisking until you are ready to pour the pudding into serving dishes or a skin will form on top.

The source
Adapted from Hedwig Maria Stuber: Ich helf Dir kochen

The hint
This recipe states a lot of cocoa. Unless you're fond of a bittersweet, dark chocolate taste, either decrease the amount of cocoa to 20-30g or add more sugar (can be done at the last step). I've added more sugar but afterwards thought that the original amount is enough.

If you like a lighter texture, fold in a stiffly beaten egg white.