Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dark Chocolate Pudding

Jello Chocolate Pudding is one of the basic food groups and necessary for a happy life. Tragically, it's not sold in the UK! (Except from rip-off specialty importers who charge over $5 a single box.)
I knew if I searched long enough I would find a make-it-from-scratch recipe for it. Voila! This is so good my husband tries to sweet-talk me into letting him have the whole thing for himself.
It's uber rich and comforting.

Grown-up Dark Chocolate Pudding

1 1/2 oz. dark chocolate (I used a 72% dark)
1/4 cup sugar -rounded generously
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/8 t salt
3 T cornstarch
1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Melt the chocolate either in a heavyweight saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler. This depends on your skill and experience. I do it in a small heavy pot on a medium setting halogen electric range. If you aren't sure, go for the double boiler and be safe; you do not want to burn the chocolate. Make sure you stir gently.

2. Slowly stir in sugar and 1 3/4 cups milk and salt.

3. Heat to slight boil while stirring slow and gentle.

4. Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup milk.

5. Slowly stir the cornstarch mixture into the chocolate mixture.

6. Cook stirring constantly until quite thick and gently bubbling. (If you are using a double boiler - over boiling water it takes 5-8 minutes).

7. Turn off heat and continue to stir. When slightly cool, stir in vanilla.

8. Pour into 4 serving dishes and cool.


I've a batch of this simmering on the stove at the moment. Real Seville oranges are totally unlike the sweet eating oranges we're used to. They are very small, thin skinned, filled with seeds (it's unreal!) and bitter. But, they make the marmalade of your dreams.

Seville Orange Marmalade

1kg Seville oranges
1 unwaxed lemon
2kg Preserving Sugar

1. Wash the oranges and lemon thoroughly, then dry them in a clean tea towel. Pour 2 litres cold water into a large, wide pan or preserving pan. Squeeze the oranges and lemon and add the juice to the water. Reserve the pips and orange rind, but discard the squeezed lemon.
2. Cut the oranges in half again and, using a metal spoon, scrape the pith and pips into the centre of a large square of muslin. Tie the muslin with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to the pan and tie the ends of the string to the pan handle to make it easier to remove later.
3. Cut the orange peel into strips - chunky for coarse cut and thinner for a fine shred. It is easier and quicker if you place 2 pieces on top of each other and slice with a sharp knife. Add to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours, until the peel is very soft and the liquid reduced by about half. Remove and discard the bag with the pips and pith, squeezing as much juice as possible back into the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.
4. Add the sugar and stir over a low heat until it has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil rapidly until it reaches setting point. This usually takes about 15 minutes. To test, remove the pan from the heat and spoon a little marmalade onto a chilled saucer. Allow to cool for a few seconds, then push with a finger. If the surface wrinkles it is ready. If not, boil for a further 5 minutes and test again. Leave the marmalade to settle for 15 minutes, then skim off any scum from the surface with a slotted spoon. Stir the mixture and pour into warm, clean jars, using a jug. Place a waxed disk on top immediately. Cover when cold, then label and date.