Thursday, 15 February 2007

SHF#28: Sweet Seduction

They may not look like it – but those mugs are well travelled. They’ve found their first home in a shared house back in Germany, got separated and after one and a half year were finally reunited in Australia. Hey, and they’re not even chipped, right?

Those mugs may not look elegant – in fact, they’re handmade by myself. They were part of the first Christmas present for my boyfriend after discovering that he did not own a single piece of crockery let alone cookware. Of course, while living in a shared house this wasn’t really necessary. But to me, at least having my own coffee cup would have been utterly necessary to feel at home. Knowing that in three months time he would leave Germany in order to move to Australia, I thought I had better paint my name on… So off he went taking the cup with my name with him and leaving me (and the other cup) behind. Ok, that does sound too pathetic. We knew already that I would come and join him later. However, we didn’t know that it would really take that long. Since then, the two mugs are quietly sharing the shelf with each other (and a couple of other mugs, too). We’re not quite sure yet where we will live in the next couple of years but I’ll make sure that those mugs come along.

While thinking hard about what to make for Sugar High Friday No. 28 "Sweet Seduction" - hosted by Jasmine of Cardamom Addict - my good old mugs gave me the well-needed inspiration to make something that could be spooned out of them. My boyfriend strongly voted for something chocolatey - and there you go!

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Pudding (or Mousse or whatever you’d like to call it)

The ingredients

300ml milk
1 teaspoon instant espresso (I forgot it in the end)
50g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
50g caster sugar
1 small egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
1 heaped tablespoon of cornstarch (for dipping consistency, otherwise use 2 tablespoons)
1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa
1 tablespoon Rum (I forgot this one, too…)

100ml cream, whipped (20% fat works well in here)
1 teaspoon of cocoa
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 teaspoon caster sugar

To serve: Blackberries and chocolate-drizzled sugar cookies for dipping

Yield: rather 3 than 2 servings (or 4 if you're not too greedy)

Using a wire whisk, mix milk, cacao, cornstarch, and salt (the instant espresso should go in here as well). While stirring continually, let it come to a boil (all the lumps should vanish by now). When the mixture is noticeably thickened, set aside.

In a metal bowl, mix caster sugar and egg. Prop the bowl on top of the pot with the milk mixture (providing they have suitable sizes) and beat until pale and fluffy. Take the bowl off the pot and continue beating for 1-2 minutes.

Put the chocolate pieces into the milk mixture and stir until melted and thoroughly combined (at this stage, the rum should be stirred in, too) and let cool down.

Meanwhile, beat cream with cocoa, sugar and vanilla sugar until stiff.

Fold egg and sugar mixture and cream into the chocolate-milk mixture. Spoon into mugs and pop into the fridge until ready to serve.

The source

My own blend of several recipes found on Food&Wine

The hint

I have to admit that I was not patient enough to let everything cool down properly. This and the fact that I had only used one tablespoon of cornstarch led to a somewhat viscous texture. If you prefer it a bit more solid, I’ll recommend to follow the instructions and to wait patiently… However, the resulting pudding-mousse was not only rich and chocolatey but also very silky!

In case you want to know what we had as main course:

Roasted chicken drumsticks (marinated in honey, soy sauce, paprika, and chili flakes) with a salad of fried asparagus, diced tomato and croutons. I’m pretty sure it’s not a recommended match to have the Sparkling Shiraz of Bimbadgen Estate (Hunter Valley, Australia) with both courses – but Valentine’s Day was a perfect occasion to finally open this lovely bottle!


Anonymous said...

Hi Eva, the mugs story is so romantic...! And your desserts looks utterly yummy and elegant. My valentine's day dessert was also a choc pudding but a more cakey type. However, we were too full after dinner that we didn't even make it to dessert. Finally had it last nite. I don't think it was as yummy as yours. I will have to try your recipe. - Nora

Eva said...

After having tasted your wonderful chocolate pavlova (a dish I messed up completely as you may remember...;-) I don't believe you!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful treat and a great story to go along with it!

Maria of Passion Fruit & Mangos said...

Your chocolate pudding looks divine! As does your chicken and asparagus. I love a good chocolate pudding, and your recipe looks perfect.

Eva said...

Thanks so much for all your comments! Glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

Love those squiggly biscuits you served with the chocolate mousse. And the mugs are so cute. :)

Brilynn said...

Great story and a wonderful pudding to go along with it!

Eva said...

I'm back again and finally managed to publish all your kind comments - can't wait to check out all the other entries!