“Chocolate Puddings. To a Pint of Cream take eight Eggs, the Whites of four, beat them well together, and mingle with your Cream; put in some Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Ginger, a quarter of a Pound of Naples Bisket, and a quarter of a Pound of Chocolate grated very fine, put in a little Orange-Flower Water, and a little Citron minc’d; mingle it mighty well together, and if you bake it, put a Sheet of Puff-paste in your Dish, and raise a little Border in the Rim, put in your Pudding and cross-bar it, and ice it with thick Butter and Sugar, and bake it in a gentle Oven, and when bak’d serve it away, or you may boil it if you please.”
—The Complete Practical Cook, Charles Carter, facsimile 1730 edition [Gale Ecco Print Edition:Detroit] (p. 106)
One of the highlights of having warm weather is when impromptu visits are possible, especially on chance meeting of old friends or neighbours. With plenty of delivery services available at ” the fingertips or touch of thumb pads”; it’s often the desserts that need to be made or created in a jiffy. Which is why, certain desserts especially custard, ice cream, puddings to name few easy ones are one of the necessary knows for every “fledgling” cook.
One of the easiest desserts to make with the ingredients of cornstarch or flour, cream, milk, butter and vanilla for the most simple and basic puddings. Adding in cocoa, bananas, battered breadcrumbs and even eggs are the small variations that make an entirely new recipe and flavour of the “new pudding”. Few “pudding pointers” to keep in mind include:
- Although easy to make, complete and whole attention is required from making the batter to setting it to chill or baking it.
- Constant stirring is needed while cooking the pudding to avoid lumps or burning.
- The flavours, texture and consistency is very adaptable, so don’t be afraid of experimenting.
- Make sure the flour is sieved properly because no matter how it is whisked, if the flour is not smooth it will give you a lumpy texture.
- To store it, cover it with a plastic wrap to avoid the formation of a layer. The same applies while chilling the pudding too.
- For baked puddings, grease the tin with butter and then refrigerate it for few minutes. This will form a layer and avoid it from sticking to the base.
With National Chocolate Pudding Day tomorrow, one can go a step further with whole or shots of “pudding cakes” or “pudding shakes” with whipped cream, sprinkles and M &M’s to add on; not to forget the ice cream too.
“Life’s a pudding full of plums.”
W.S. Gilbert (1836-1911)