Thursday, August 15, 2013

Chocolate Blackberry Pudding

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you can look forward to the following offerings from Sweetwater Farm, Fair Valley Farm, and Tiger Lily Art Company:

Blackberries and cantaloupes (make this chocolate blackberry pudding) 
Shiro plums from SLO Farm (make zwetschgenkuchen)
tomatoes, including romas, and 10 lb flats for $20 (freeze a big batch of sauce)
Anaheim chile, red hot cherry peppers, assorted pepper bargain bags (make romesco sauce)
cucumbers and Costata Romanesco zucchini (try shredded)
cutting celery (or leaf celery or smallage) (read more about this celery here)
new potatoes, beets, carrots, and kohlrabi (try this kohlrabi salad with harissa)
assorted herbs including Italian parsley and 1 lb bags of basil (make pesto)
fresh spring garlic and onions
kale, chard, and a variety of lettuces (make kale paneer)
bietola (Italian chard/beet green, make saag panner salad)
dried beans and grains from Camus Country Mill (pick up some lentils for mujaddara)
jams, salsa, and pickles from Sweet Creek Foods
pastured chickens from Fair Valley Farm (try slow cooker Pueblan Chicken Tinga)
floral arrangements from Tiger Lily Art Company

This is turning out to be the summer of the pudding. First I discovered tapioca flamingos. Then, before one of my son's swim lessons a few weeks ago, I bought him a chocolate pudding to help tide him over before dinner, and as it happened that lesson turned out to be the watershed during which he finally transitioned from flailing to swimming. He, of course, attributed his new skills to the pudding and was convinced that he would need a steady supply to keep himself afloat in the future. 

Although I didn't want to endorse this logic, I also felt that it wouldn't hurt to have a good homemade chocolate pudding recipe in my repertoire. I tried out one from food52 that proved to be a keeper. It uses tapioca flour instead of cornstarch ("just what we need in the house is yet another kind of flour" my husband commented wryly) and is all assembled in a blender. The addition of fresh blackberries before the pudding sets produces a decadent dessert that tastes as good as walking on water. 

Chocolate Blackberry Pudding
adapted from Alex Talbot's recipe on food52
makes 8 small puddings
2 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp tapioca flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk (or use 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup reduced fat milk)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (60% or more cacao)
1/2 pint blackberries
lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

1. Put the egg yolks and tapioca flour in a blender and blend on low speed until a light-colored paste forms. You will need to scrape down the sides of the blender jar a couple times, but don't worry if you have some tapioca flour dust that doesn't get incorporated.

2. Combine the sugar, cream, milk, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Turn the blender containing the egg and tapioca mixture back on low. Quickly and carefully, pour the hot milk mixture into the blender and increase the speed to medium. The heat will cook the egg yolks and allow the tapioca to thicken to the consistency of thick mayonnaise.

3. With the blender running, add the chocolate in stages so it is emulsified into the pudding. When all the chocolate is added, strain the pudding into 8 small serving glasses or bowls (I used small canning jars). Add 1/8 cup of blackberries to each glass and gently tap so that the berries become submerged, or press them down with a spoon. Let the pudding cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator to cool completely. Top with whipped cream and more berries if you like.

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