Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Recipe

Follow my train of thought on this one: Valentine's Day features prominently both hearts and chocolate.  Next, the early civilization of the Inca Empire also feature hearts (human sacrifice) and chocolate (cacao beans are indigenous to Central and South America.)  Therefore, since I can't get a sacrificial heart on this short notice, here's a little recipe involving chocolate.

Mesoamerican Chocolate Pudding
(Serves 4 generously, 6 adequately)

2 Tbsp cornstarch
6 Tbsp powdered sugar (it's the sugar I currently have on hand, since I'm out of honey)
Dash of salt
1 egg
2 C milk
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped or broken into chunks
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
1 tsp rum or vanilla

Mix the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a saucepan.  Add the egg and beat well with a whisk so there are no lumps.  Stir in the milk.  Heat over low heat, whisking frequently until the mixture starts steaming, then constantly as it thickens and comes to a boil.  Boil and stir 1 minute, then remove from heat.  Add the chocolate, spices, and rum or vanilla.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate completely melts.  Spoon into serving dishes (I use 6 oz custard cups), press plastic wrap directly against the surface to prevent any undesirable skin from forming, and chill at least 90 mins to 2 hours.

The warm spices combine so nicely with the chocolate, the pudding is not too sweet, and you can pretend you're the high priestess at the top of a pyramid with a chanting populace below.

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