Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Milk Chocolate Pudding with Long Pepper or UtHC doesn't go to New York City

Last weekend was the momentous occasion of Danny’s and my fifth wedding anniversary, but our grand plans of a weekend getaway alone to New York City were squashed like a bug when Noah fell sick, really sick. How ironic that the last 90-something weekends of his life he has been well, but this particular one he had us convinced that there was no way we could leave him, even with the very best of care.

It wasn’t looking good at the beginning of the week as he refused food, yet continued to lose body fluids from both ends (I’ll spare you the details). In hopes of a fast turnaround of his health, I continued on with my preparation: making some meals ahead for him, studying the Manhattan transportation system, and keeping an eye on the NY weather.

Then Thursday morning he woke up with spots all over and we said goodbye to our hopes. While I wanted desperately to wake up in a city that never sleeps, just like the song says, it wasn’t going to be this anniversary. (Oh I'd be waking up, that's for sure, and with a sick baby in the house, 'never sleeps' would take on a whole new meaning.)

Friday evening, after the feverish little darling was in bed, I glanced at the clock and couldn’t help but inform myself that this was about the time we should be getting on our way if we were going to make our bus to New York. A dark cloud settled over my head and I knew I could either ruin what was left of my anniversary by wallowing in self pity, or get cooking and make the most of it.
Trying to swallow my disappointment, I foraged restlessly in the cupboard for some chocolate. I needed the comforting therapy of cooking something and the uplifting familiarity of eating warm pudding straight from the pot.
Fortunately, I did managed to relax in the kitchen a bit and my dark cloud disappeared thanks to these little pots of milk chocolate pudding flavored with the sensual spiciness of long pepper.

We did manage to slip out for a late night meal of tapas on our anniversary, so it wasn't all bad! Kudos to M for babysitting after a long day of work.

Pictured here is long pepper, also known as 'cubeb', from Bali. Available at Olive et Epices at Marche Jean Talon, these exotic spices from the pepper family look like little corn on the cobs and are much sweeter than black pepper. I first had them paired with chocolate in a dark truffle and loved the combination. Definitely adding a freshly ground pinch to the milk chocolate pudding adds a hint of excitement worthy of a wedding anniversary.

Milk Chocolate Pudding with Balinese Long Pepper
(adapted from Gourmet, February 07)

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz fine-quality milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground long pepper
lightly sweetened whipped cream

Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, long pepper and a pinch of salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk and cream. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, 2 minutes.
Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and chill pudding, it's surface covered with wax paper (to prevent skin from forming), until cold, at least 2 hours. Or just enjoy it warm like we did!
Make about enough for four.
Recipe may be made without the long pepper. Enjoy.


Amber said...

Hey Aimee, sorry your anniversary plans were debunked...hope Noah's all better now. There's nothing quite like when your child is sick hey. That chocolate pudding looks and sounds amazing!

miche said...

Pudding looks amazing. Long peppers now on the list for the next JTM run. I hope Noah is feeling better.

Miranda said...

No problem babysitting. A perk of the job is actually getting to sample all these yummy things!

Rose said...

Can I just say Happy anniversary to you Aimee. I hope your little Noah is doing better now and don't worry about new york, a spoon of your chocolate pudding is so much better than a trip there.

linda said...

Happy anniversary! The long peppers are something I have looked at before ~ I will have to give them a try.

Aimée said...

Amber- I know you can relate and Noah is feeling better, thanks.

Miche- Happy shopping! I just love JTM.

Miranda- Not to mention your super cute nephew, eh?

Rose- Thank you and welcome to UtHC!

Linda- Welcome and thanks for dropping in! Hope you find some Bali long pepper

Nora B. said...

Happy Anniversary to you and Danny! I hope that you can have your romantic getaway sometime soon.

Your pudding looks amazing and comforting. I've been to Bali many times but have never seen cubeb before. I like hot stuff, so I hope that i can find them in Sydney!

p/s: thanks for dropping by my blog! It's always nice to see a comment from someone new. :-)

Danny B (Lucky Husband) said...

The pudding was quite good. Not good enough to make up for the missed trip, though, but then again, I didn't get it hot out of the pot.

Just an impression: it didn't seem to make as much as a normal batch of pudding. Where did it go? Miranda?

Hint for those making this with a big, strong and burly man in mind - make a double batch. ;)

Freya and Paul said...

Love the idea of the pepper in the pudding - looks delicious!
Hope everything is going a bit better for you now!

Helen said...

Happy belated Anniversary. The pudding looks amazing. I can only imagine the sexy kick of the long pepper. Gorgeous!

Aimée said...

Hi Nora! Thanks sweetie. We hope to get away soon

Danny- it's a rich pudding, not meant to be eaten by the bowlfuls!

Hi Freya! We are all much better now, thank you.

Hey Helen- thanks so much!! it's really a combination people should try more often.

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