Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pudding Disaster and Aftermath

Somebody call FEMA: the kitchen after I tried to make this pudding--that is really quite simple

recipe #143

This is from Nigella Lawson's book How to Eat:
Sticky Chocolate Pudding

Pudding:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 cup good unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
1 2/3 cups confectioners sugar
2 1/2 ounces best semisweet chocolate chopped roughly or chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sauce:
1 cup dark brown or dark muscovado sugar
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa into a bowl, stir in the hazelnuts and the sugar, then add the chocolate. Whisk together the melted butter, egg, milk and vanilla and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir well, so it's all thoroughly mixed, then spoon into the buttered dish.
Now for the sauce, not that you make it yourself (the cooking does that for you) but you have to get the ingredients together. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Mix the brown sugar and cocoa and sprinkle over the top of the pudding mixture in the dish. Pour the boiled water up to the 2 cup mark of a measuring cup, then pour over the pudding. Put the water-drenched pudding directly into the oven and leave it there for about 50 minutes.

Don't open the door until a good 45 minutes have passed and then press: if it feels fairly firm and springy to the touch, it's ready. If you're using the shallow dish, it'll be ready in 35-40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately, spooning from the dish and making sure everyone gets both sauce and sponge.

serves 6-8


It is hard to get back to cooking after the big thanksgiving push. Since Friday morning we have been surviving by picking things out of the fridge and putting them in the microwave. The most elaborate thing I've made in the past 5 days was cereal. So, maybe it was too soon to try this pudding. It seemed easy enough. If filled my need to use up the stuff in my pantry. But from the first step it went terribly wrong.

First, my daughter poured most of the cocoa in the sink trying to make 'brownies'. Next, while I was looking for vanilla in the cupboard I knocked an entire jar of whole peppercorns into the mixture. I started picking them out by hand. . . boring and to detail oriented for me. . . so I used the sifter. Next, the recipe calls for putting the pudding directly in a pre-heated oven after pouring boiling water over the pudding. Water poured, popped in oven, timer set, only to find an hour later I had never turned on the over or turned it off right after putting the pudding in.

Finally, after hour 2 and actually cooking the pudding we tasted it and I had forgotten to add any sugar.

After that I went directly to bed. I guess my husband ate half of it and spent the night unable to sleep and spazzing out around the apartment from eating all that chocolate.

the pudding after my husband had his way with it

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