Sunday, May 22, 2005

Princess Pudding

When I first noticed this recipe in one of my favorite dessert books "PURE CHOCOLATE" by Fran Bigelow, it looked very attractive and easy. I never came across a pudding recipe before that is made without starch but with egg yolks. It is basically pastry cream with added chocolate while it is hot. The result was very good and also very rich. May be too rich. I would appreciate if my friends try it and let me know what they think. I would be nervous to replace cream with milk, but I thought if the chocolate amount is slightly decreased that should help. I am also curious to see if I add raspberry sauce to the same custard base, would I come up with an edible equally delicious raspberry pudding or a disaster. Since I crave for berries recently I am tempted to give it a try.

11/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise ( I used vanilla extract instead, but it has to be added after the pot removed from the heat )
5 l arge egg yolks
7oz semisweet chocolate finely chopped
Lightly sweetened whipped cream and berries for garnish ( but original recipe recommends Cappuccino whipped cream instead, which I will add at the very end )

In a small saucepan combine the cream and sugar. Using the back of a paring knife , scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the mixture. Toss the bean. Place over medium heat
and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat. If you are using vanilla extract instead of the bean you should add it at this stage.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until frothy. Slowly pour one-third of the cream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the pan and return to low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon ( about 160 degrees ).

Remove from the heat. Remove and discard the vanilla bean. Add the finely chopped chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.

While mixture is still warm, pour into a serving bowl or into 8 individual demitasse cups. Let cool slightly, then top with loosely whipped cappuccino cream and serve. I garnished it with whipped cream and strawberries.

Princess Pudding is best served at room temperature, to bring out the chocolate flavor. It can be refrigerated as long as 2 days.

Cappuccino Whipped Cream:

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsps sugar
3 tbsps brewed espresso or 2 tbsps water mixed with 2 tbsps instant coffee (preferably freeze-dried )
2 cups heavy cream, chilled

Either by hand or using a mixer, whisk together the sugar and coffee until frothy. The sugar will begin to dissolve. Add the cream and whisk until thoroughly combined and soft peaks form. Take care not to overwhip the cream as it may begin to lose its cremy texture. Store in the refrigerator.