Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Relics of Valentines

Chocolate Pudding

DSC_0003DSC_0008The Bernard chocolate shop where I get quality unsweetened cocoa powder is located in down town Lake Oswego, Oregon. At Valentine’s Day time, they sell heart shape chocolate shell filled with chocolate of your choices. Available in dark or milk chocolate they have small, medium and large size shells. With my purchase of dark, medium size one, you could get 20 pieces of chocolates in it. I took it to my husband’s office on Valentine’s Day following the Japanese girl tradition. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is the only day that allows girls to confess their love to boys and so they give the boys chocolate thus popular boys get tons of chocolates. Then on White Day, March 14th, boys give girls cookies showing their feelings in return. I heard that in Korea, boys and girls who didn’t get anything, eat black noodles on the April 14th holiday called Black Day. Who came up with this stuff? Actually it is a brilliant marketing ploy!  Anyway, a week later, my husband brought the chocolate shell home. Oh thanks hon!  As I was thinking of creative ideas of what to do with left over Valentine, I had an ‘Aha’ moment (I watch Oprah sometimes. Unfortunately, I don’t get see the whole show because soon after I sit down on couch to watch I doze off). How about making short rib with chocolate sauce? (just kidding). Why not make chocolate pudding with this? I have Mark’s (norecipes.com) wonderful chocolate pudding recipe somewhere. Mark is like a celebrity food blogger. He has huge number of followers and friends, wow factor photos and most of all, he is a top 3 finisher of Food Buzz Challenge which is no easy task. My daughter (little foodies) did this same challenge and made it to round 7 out of 10 rounds. His chocolate pudding is relatively easy to make and not too sweet. It is a keeper for me. I made a tiny change to his recipe to fit the way I work around my kitchen. DSC_0126DSC_0137

Chocolate Pudding

makes 6-8 servings

  • 5 extra large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Put egg yolks and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment and beat at medium high speed until the eggs are shiny pale yellow color (about 2 minutes).
  2. Add corn starch and cocoa and whisk until the mixture is smooth.*
  3. Put milk in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it’s steaming and there are small bubbles coming up around edges but not boiling.
  4. With mixer running at low speed, carefully so not to splash the hot milk, slowly drizzle the milk in along the edge of the bowl, until mixture is smooth. DSC_0102
  5. Rinse the pan and put the mixture back in the pan over medium low heat. Stir constantly with a heat-proof silicon spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan so the pudding doesn’t burn, until the mixture is very thick. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, break the chocolate into small pieces. Pour the milk mixture over the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted and combined. DSC_0108DSC_0109
  7. Add cream, butter and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and mix well.

Serve the pudding warm or cold. Will keep in refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container.

*Note;It’s not necessary but I prefer sifting cornstarch and cocoa powder together before adding to mixer.

More than 10 years ago, my friend from Nagasaki came to visit me for a week. She and I drove to Cannon Beach and stayed at The Bernard Inn one night. This quaint, charming bed and breakfast inn was not on the beach but has a peek of ocean view and was very clean which to me is important. At the breakfast, we gathered around round table with other guests. One couple, husband and wife introduced themselves to us as the owners of chocolate shop ‘Bernard’. Bernards at Bernard? What a coincidence! I was already a regular customer of that store then and was excited to meet the owners. Once in a while when I go there to get cocoa powder I see them at the store working side by side with other employees. I hope for their long success and cheer for great chocolates.DSC_0121

Not on the Valentine's Day but Saturday before that, we had dinner at Castagna to cerebrate . French/ Italian restaurant on Hawthorne Blvd. This is our first time since change of executive chef. Chic decor and very small potion but elegantly presented and splendid flavor food- ok, my duck was so- so, there is room for improvement, we were not disappointed. On Valentine's Day, my classy husband sent me red roses. We’re not rich but fortunate to afford some luxury in our life. That makes me feel rich and I am grateful for the blessing. Certainly eating good food puts me in a good mood.

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PS- Honey, I thank you in advance for delicious Godiva cookies on White Day.

6 comments:

  1. Is that where my unsweetened chocolate powered came from? The chocolate you sent me was amazing.

    yay of chocolate and red roses and nice husbands too.

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  2. Damaris, Yes it's from Bernard. I enjoy hot chocolate using the cocoa powder every night.
    I know he is keeper isn't he?

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  3. Yeah, you'd better keep him.
    I really like that cocoa powder. I use it all the time.
    You met them? That's like meeting a celebrity.
    I'll have to tell Jake about the cookies...

    I wanted to try that recipe when I saw it on Marc's blog. Thanks for reminding me.

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  4. Mariko, Okay, I will keep him.

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  5. I nearly forgot about V-day... and forgot about White day, or would have if it wasn't for the reminder in the supermarket...
    Well done by your Mr. = )

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