Friday, October 15, 2010

Chocolate-Pudding Days

Today is awash in shades of gray and rain and huge wind gusts. Like a November day-- bleak, stark and unyielding in its relentless pursuit of winter. Some people chirp, "It could be could be snow out there." I'm like Lou Grant (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) who hates "spunk."
I hate chirp. Not the real chirpy people -- the fake ones.

Anyhow, I don't need to be cheered up because I have the perfect remedy -- chocolate pudding. Warm, creamy, rich -- of my favourite comfort foods. It's easy to make and deceptively indulgent because I use a secret ingredient -- Carnation Evaporated Milk -- Non-Fat.
All that velvety smoothness without the extra calories. And, besides, the recipe calls for a nub of butter. Heh.

I wish I could properly categorize my food moods. Today, for example, could be perfect for tapioca pudding with a dollop of jam, or a warm spice molasses cake, or bread pudding made with croissants and cream. Today could be matched with butter-rich cinammon chocolate cake or old-fashioned rice pudding or even brownies. But for some reason, it's got to be chocolate pudding, the darker the better. I need to see bubbling and I need to be able to dive into a pool of warm chocolate when no one is looking and slurp it from the pot.

That's what I like to do. So, sue me, or join me. It's Friday all day long.
Bring on the rain.

 Carol's Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder -- or chop and melt about 6 ounces of your favourite semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups Carnation Evaporated Milk (I use Non-Fat)
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter (Please, butter only!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cocoa, salt and cornstarch in a pot.
Over medium heat, add the Carnation milk, stirring as you go. Bring the pudding to a boil, stirring constantly, and allow it to thicken. It will look like you are staring into a Willie Wonka-designed volcano. In about 2 minutes, the pudding should be able to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove from the heat and add your butter and your vanilla. If you are moi, you'll be head first in the pot, making savage, pleasurable noises. If you are more restrained, allow this to cool a little, pour into ramekins or dessert bowls and serve either warm or from the fridge.

People talk about pudding skins like animal pelts or muffin tops. Some people like them, some people don't. If you don't want that skin on your pudding, place some plastic wrap directly on the surface.

Nietzsche said the abdomen is the reason we don't take ourselves to be a god. I think he must have had his fair share of chocolate puddings.

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