Here are a few of my favorite shots from March. They are a bit late since I was on vacation without internet. Kind of a nice break!
So many beautiful moments!
This pudding is super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. It was my first attempt at a blancmange and it turned out perfectly! This simple pudding is truly a classic. In “Little Women” Jo would make blancmange and bring it to her neighbor Laurie since he was frail and sick and she wanted to help him get better. Cute right?
I used a recipe from one of my favorite recipe blogs, and made some changes. You can find the original recipe here.
Serves 6 – 8
Extras: Melted chocolate and whipped cream to garnish
Bring water to a boil in the bottom of a double boiler and reduce it to a low simmer. Whisk the dry ingredients in the top of the double boiler and place it on top of the simmering water. Then add the milk and half and half into the dry ingredients. Pour slowly and whisk well as you combine them.
Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly until thickened. It should not be too thick, just enough to coat the back of your spoon evenly. Whisk any lumps out, and add the chocolate.
Stir in the chocolate, whisking if needed, until the pudding is smooth and a bit shiny. Make sure not to cook it too long at this stage.
Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps, then transfer into small serving bowls or glasses as I did.
Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving. If you are worried about pudding skin, cover the surfaces with plastic wrap to prevent it from forming.
To make chocolate flowers or swirls, simply melt a couple of ounces of chocolate over low heat. Then, using a toothpick, draw your desired shapes onto a piece of wax paper. Make sure your lines are thick so that you chocolate doesn’t break! Place your designs in the freezer for 30 minutes or more before using.
When you are ready to garnish your pudding, whip up some cream (I prefer not to sweeten it) and carefully peel your chocolate designs off of the wax paper. Arrange them as you like and serve immediately.
This pudding is very rich, so servings do not need to be too large. And it certainly satisfies those chocolate cravings!
The unsweetened whipped cream is the perfect complement to the chocolate, so I highly recommend it!
You can also update this classic by adding spices, citrus zest, coconut, or fruit. You can even make some subtle changes by switching out the vanilla extract for another extract or flavor.
Have fun cooking and make sure you take a moment to revel in the delicious result!
This was yet another kitchen experiment that turned out well. I love cardamom in anything, and I couldn’t find any dates, so I used dried mango instead. These are spicy, sweet, and perfect with coffee or tea!
Extras: 1 egg white and 1/8 cup of sugar for the top of the biscotti
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and mix all of the dry ingredients together. Sift the flour to avoid any lumps.
Lightly beat the eggs and vanilla together and add to the dry mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be a bit sticky, so add more flour if you need to.
Roll the dough into a log on a lightly floured surface. It should be about 2 by 10 inches.
Butter a baking sheet and place the roll on it. Press the top down to flatten it a bit, and cook for 30 minutes.
Once the biscotti is slightly golden and cracked, remove it from the oven. Lightly beat the extra egg white and brush it over the biscotti. Sprinkle the 1/8 cup sugar over it, and place back in the oven for 15 more minutes until golden and fragrant.
Transfer the biscotti to a cutting board and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch slices. Arrange these on another buttered baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned and slightly hard to the touch.
Cool on wire racks until hard.
Enjoy with coffee or tea, or my favorite spiced latte. I made Naomi a cute latte today with touch of chocolate when I brought her a sample of my biscotti.
A little messy, but yummy (or so I heard). I had mine with ceylon tea and it was delicious!
The fun part about biscotti is that you can experiment with different ingredients. Try adding cocoa powder, cinnamon, pecans, dates, dried cranberries, or crystallized ginger.