Who's That Girl

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WHO'S THAT GIRL: A higher education obsessed foodie who is documenting her life in the kitchen. I love to cook delicious, gourmet-style foods for those I love and always welcome a challenge in the kitchen. With that challenge comes an impromptu nature. I tend to avoid following recipes to the exact, so you are not likely to find very many posted here. Being that I am a Libra and am learning to be free in the kitchen, the story always goes, "A pinch of this and a smattering of that!" Thank you for visiting -- and happy reading!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

FOOD CHALLENGE: Pudding

Basic math comes in handy.

This was my week to choose the challenge item and I opted to go for pudding to make a chocolate truffle dessert. I am not sure how common it is -- or not -- to use pudding in a dessert of this kind, but I will explain later.

Strangely, I could not find this recipe with something more accessible than gram and milliliter measurements. So I had to use a conversion calculator, which proved to be wonderful and easy to use.

So, yes, there was still some basic math involved because even after I converted into cups, I had to figure out how many of the bars of chocolate to include. I also had to do a basic conversion for the cups of vanilla pudding because I honestly did not see the point of scooping out the pudding and putting it all into a measuring cup just to then scoop it out of the measuring cup so that I could then fold it into the chocolate.
That's just more dishes to wash.

So, yes -- I am making dessert.

But, no, not for me.

Actually, not for Nancy either. It's for Nancy's mother, who will be celebrating her birthday soon. Her parents are in town for their annual visit and we are spending the evening with the family.

I met Nancy's parents last year during our trip to Maine. We stayed on her family's property and, during our stay, had lunch and a couple of dinners with her parents. Her mother is drawn to sweets. Loves the stuff -- I know where Nancy gets it.

So with her mother's birthday fast approaching and with the parents in town, I figured we could do something a little special.

Nancy informed me that her mother loves chocolate. I wanted to make a decadent something, but specially made for her. And I wanted to do something decorative.

So I settled on a couple of ingredients: chocolate, cranberries and crème fraiche were necessary. And I had already decided that I would want to use the cranberries and crème fraiche to decorate the plate.

...but what about the dessert?

I rarely make desserts -- as you can see from my postings here. I was blessed not to have been born with a sweet tooth. But cheese? Goodness gracious, I love cheese. That's my downfall.

But, anyway -- so here I am, trying to decide what to make when I came upon this recipe, which is pretty straightforward. Only problem: I could not find ready made custard. I guess I could have made the custard from scratch. What', it's only eggs, sugar, milk, butter and maybe some flour?

...but I have a paper due today. So while I wanted to do this all from scratch and do my absolute best, there was a time limit.

I grabbed the vanilla pudding instead, believing it might make a good substitute for custard.

It did not take too long to get the chocolate ready. I merely melted it -- did not add anything to it at all.

Meanwhile, I set the crème fraiche on the plate with the juice from the cranberries. Honestly, this was the most difficult part because I had not separated the cranberries from the juice. So it was a lot of tilting of the container and waiting for the juice to separate going on, but it was worth the patience. I think the decorated plate came out looking marvelous.

Then, I mixed the heavy cream and vanilla pudding into the chocolate, which created these awesome mounds in the mixture. What fun. And it had this gorgeous marbling effect until I was able to get the mixture to meld easily, which took some time.

My technique was to use two spoons, the convex sides up, rolling the spoons over and over one another. It was a better mixture, I think, than using a beater. And it was more fun and less straining to do it this way. And true to my word, I had to make an addition. That's where the cranberries come from.

So, now, the mixtures are sitting in little ramekins in the freezer, where they will remain for about another hour. I hope she will enjoy this.

...OK -- back to studying.

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