Archive for the ‘Pudding’ Category

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Raspberry Blanc-Manger and You’re Invited to Join The Kitchen Reader

July 21, 2009

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Raspberry Blanc-Manger. What’s that? I didn’t know what it was either but if you read on, you’ll get the gist of it. Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy selected this oh-so-French recipe for the group to make this week. Check her blog for the recipe, or open your copy of Baking: From My Home to Yours to page 398.

Blanc-Manger

What are those little hairs on raspberries?

What’s The Kitchen Reader and How Do I Join?

The scoop on the recipe is below. But first, I want to tell you about The Kitchen Reader. Jennifer from Cooking for Comfort contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in joining a foodie book club. I said yes and we put our heads together to come up with some ideas, Jennifer created the blog, and The Kitchen Reader was born. Check out the rules here (they aren’t too strict) and take a look at the list of books we’ve come up with so far here. Book suggestions are welcome, and members will vote for the next book we’ll read. Join us! You just need to have a blog…you don’t need to be a TWD member. The email address to sign up is on The Kitchen Reader blog.

OK, back to the Blanc-Manger

What I did: I made 1/3 of the recipe. I used skim milk instead of whole milk because that’s what I had in the fridge, but other than that I didn’t make any changes to the recipe.

How it went: This wasn’t difficult, but it did make a lot of dishes! Whip the cream (mixing bowl and whisk attachment), grind the almonds (mini food processor), heat the ground almonds, milk, and sugar (saucepan and spoon), dissolve the gelatin (small bowl), cool the hot liquid in an ice bath (two bowls), fold in the cream and raspberries (spatula). Plus miscellaneous measuring devices and a strainer, knife, and cutting board to prep the raspberries. It all came together nicely and I poured it into a mini-loaf pan and put it in the refrigerator to chill. And then I made raspberry coulis, which is easier than it sounds, but it generated a couple more dirty dishes.

It took a bit of coaxing to unmold it, but it came out nicely and looked impressive when I plated it with the coulis and some whole raspberries.

How it tasted: When I took a quick look at this recipe, I didn’t have a good idea of what this might taste like. When I told my husband that I made Raspberry Blanc-Manger, he said “Ah, Blanc-Manger came in 3rd in the Tour de France yesterday.” Ha ha.

We both liked this a lot! I liked the smooth, creamy texture and was happy that the gelatin didn’t make it firm and jello-y (though I like Jello!). I was also happy that I went the extra mile and made the coulis, because it was a nice touch. My husband said he was glad that it wasn’t custdar-y like a flan and he thought that it really showcased the fresh fruit.

Would I make this again?: I predicted this would be a no, but I was wrong. It’s so beautiful and tastes great; it would be a great dessert for guests (though my repertoire of desserts for guests exceeds the amount of guests that I actually have!). If I were to make this for guests, I’d probably put it on a base of a tart crust or a sponge cake, as suggested in the book.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding

April 21, 2009

This week, the Tuesdays With Dorie bakers made Four-Star Chocolate Bread Pudding. I’m pretty sure I’ve never made bread pudding, nor have I tried chocolate bread pudding. I’ve had my share of fancied-up (usually boozy) versions in restaurants, but my favorite has always been my mom’s. Sometimes after dinner, we’d have warm bread pudding and it was always a nice treat.

This recipe was selected by Lauren and you can check here for the recipe on her blog. Or, take a look at page 410 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

fourstarchocbreadpudding

What I did:

  • I made 1/4 of the recipe, since the full recipe makes 12 servings, and that would be a heck of a lot of bread pudding for two people! This amount fit well in a 6″ Pyrex dish.
  • For the bread, I bought a mini French baguette and let it sit on the counter to dry out.
  • I used all whole milk instead of part whole milk and part cream.
  • And I never thought I’d be typing these words, but I omitted the raisins. I love raisins. Normally, I’d double the raisins in a recipe. But I knew that bread pudding might be a tough sell for my husband, and raisins could be the dealbreaker. 

How it went: This was quick and easy: whisk the eggs and sugar, heat the milk, combine the two (without scrambling the eggs), add the chocolate, and pour it over the cubed bread. The mixutre sits for 30 minutes to give the bread time to absorb the custard, then it bakes in a water bath. I baked my small dish for about 25 minutes, and I think it it was a bit overbaked. There was a lot of custard, so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t soupy. 

How it tasted: The recipe recommends serving it cool or chilled, and offers suggestions for sauces and toppings. I went with good old whipped cream, which is pretty much my favorite topping. I chilled it and then took it out of the fridge a while before serving. And…it was not a hit with either of us. I like chocolate and I like bread pudding, but I guess I don’t like them together.

Would I make this again?: No. I’m not giving up on bread pudding, but next time I’ll try my mom’s recipe to see if it lives up to my memories.

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Real Butterscotch Pudding

December 23, 2008

This week’s recipe was selected by Donna of Spatulas, Corkscrews & Suitcases.  I might need to rename mine Real Butterbrandy pudding, because I replaced the scotch with brandy.  I couldn’t find a really tiny bottle of scotch, so I went with brandy because I had it and I like it.  There were some discussions about omitting the alcohol, so I’ll be checking out the other TWD bakers to see who did what.

pudding

What I did: Aside from subbing the liquor, the only other change I made was using all whole milk instead of whole milk plus heavy cream. This reduced the fat a little bit, plus I didn’t have to throw away part of a carton of cream. I wanted to make half a recipe, but when I looked at the recipe and saw all the back and forth between the saucepan and the food processor, I decided it would be easier with the full amount.

How it went: It went well until…I had the full batch of liquid in the food processor and was ready to transfer it back to the pan. I removed the blade because I didn’t want it dropping into the pan, unlocked the bowl and picked it up to bring it to the stove. And then the pudding started coming out the hole in the bottom of the bowl (usually covered up by the blade, which I removed). There was pudding all over the food processor, all over the counter, all over the floor, and all over the stove. I haven’t had my food processor for very long and I’ve never made such a large amount of liquid in it, so it didn’t occur to me that this was something to watch out for. Now I know! 

One thing that seemed odd is that as soon as the milk boiled, the pudding got really foamy. It remained foamy in the food processor and just about filled up the large work bowl. After I got everything cleaned up, I saw that there’s a line on the side of the work bowl that indicates the max fill, or at least the max fill for liquids. But I don’t know how I would have done this in batches. Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be so foamy? Maybe Dorie has an industrial-sized food processor?  Maybe an immersion blender would work?  So many questions, but all I can see is the giant mess it made. This picture doesn’t nearly do it justice – I had already cleaned up a big pool of glop.

pudding-mess

Once it went back in the pan, it thickened up nicely and didn’t scorch, and I managed to get it back into the food processor and then into bowls without another disaster. It firmed up nicely and I was even able to get it to easily unmold from the bowl. At first I thought that six servings was too many, but this is pretty rich, so that’s probably a sensible size for a serving, especially if you embellish it with whipped cream or buttered pecans, as Dorie suggests.

How it tasted: I tried a spoonful when it was warm, and I could really taste the brandy. After chilling for four hours, the brandy flavor was still there – I would say it was just the right amount of alcohol. Not so little that you can’t taste it but not so much that you feel like you’re eating a shot (although jello shots are popular…perhaps pudding shots are next?).  Even aside from the alcohol, it tasted really good!  I was surpised at the texture – it was like a flan or a custard, and kind of gelatinous.  (Though maybe I’ve been eating too much sugar free instant pudding and my view is distorted.) 

Would I make this again?: Although I liked it a lot, I doubt I’d make it again because it was a hassle to keep moving back and forth between the saucepan and the food processor. Even if I didn’t have pudding covering half my kitchen, this recipe still would have been kind of a hassle. I guess if I’m going to hassle with something, I’d rather have it be a fantastic chocolate torte or something like that with more wow factor.

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Tuesdays with Dorie: Abrorio Rice Pudding

November 18, 2008

This week’s TWD recipe is Abrorio Rice Pudding, white, black, (or both), selcted by Isabelle of Les Gourmandises d’Isa.  (If you’re completely lost as to what I’m talking about, read this entry for a quick explanation of TWD.)  The “white” is vanilla and the “black” is chocolate. I’m a huge fan of rice pudding, but I’ve never had it with Abrorio rice and I’ve never had chocolate, so I was really looking forward to trying this out. One thing I noticed is that the recipe doesn’t have any eggs, which was surprising to me.

What I did: I cut the recipe in half because I’m the only rice pudding fan in the house. Half a recipe makes two servings, so I made one serving of vanilla and one serving of chocolate.  I also wanted to try one of Dorie’s ideas for “playing around” so I steeped some raisins in Grand Marnier and stirred them into each flavor.

How it went: Well I thought it went OK.  One thing I noticed is that the milk kept forming a skin. The recipe said to stir occasionally, but I kept getting a skin even though I was stirring every few minutes.  I simmered it for almost 30 minutes and then the rice was tender, so I poured it into bowls, added the flavorings and raisins, and put it in the fridge with high hopes.  The next day, I took it out and realized that it was really thin. Crap.  My best guess is that I didn’t simmer it long enough.  The recipe said not to worry if it wasn’t thick because it will thicken in the fridge. I guess I should have worried.

How it tasted: It tastes ok, but it’s kind of like sweet milk (and chocolate milk) with rice, which just isn’t the same as a creamy, thick pudding.  The boozy raisins are awesome, though, so I’ll pick those out and enjoy them.

Would I make this again?: I should give this another try and simmer it for longer.  The Grand Marnier raisins have great potential, so if I could get the pudding part to work, I’d be in business.   I’ve also eaten coconut rice pudding and would like to give that a try.

Update: The consensus from the other bakers is that the pudding needs to cook for longer. A couple of people even put theirs back on the stove the next day after it didn’t thicken in the fridge.  And then…Dorie herself posted on the site to apologize that the directions in the book are incorrect:  the pudding needs to cook for 55 minutes. I’ll make a note in my book for next time!

van-rice-pudding

choc-rice-pudding

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