Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Play on Recipe Thursday: Pudding

Earlier this week, we caved to grocery store pressure and bought a pudding mix. Organic butterscotch. It was delicious, so much so that my husband steeled down to the kitchen unbeknownst to me to finish it off. I was sad.

The next night, we mourned the early demise of said pudding (I glared at my husband a bit) and also the lack of eggs in the house. (Since no eggs usually means no tasty baked goods. We also don't have applesauce on hand.) We were almost certain that our collective sweet tooth would go unquenched. But then, I cracked open my More With Less cookbook. (If you don't already know about this cook book, I strongly suggest you find a copy to borrow. It is amazing. It is a go-to resource for recipes when you are short an ingredient or two, and substitutions. My mom gifted me an updated version because I used her so much!)

In this gem of a cooking reference, I found a very simple chocolate pudding recipe. It called for sugar, corn starch, cocoa, milk, vanilla, and margarine. I had everything in my kitchen already. (Well, I had butter, not margarine.) My husband was a bit surprised to learn we had corn starch in our cupboards, but I wasn't! (I did buy it, after all.)

One feature of the More With Less book is that they include hints, additions, and variations that other cooks have used with success. For this pudding recipe, one suggestion was to replace the few tablespoons of margarine with a quarter cup of peanut butter. Usually, I like to make a recipe at least once by the 'book' before I start in with the alterations, but we could not pass up the chocolate and peanut butter combination.

The pudding thickened up beautifully. I almost didn't want to add the vanilla and peanut butter, but I did. And I should have used a whisk to blend in the peanut butter and not just my wooden spoon. Or added it a bit sooner. The peanut butter didn't incorporate a smoothly as it could have, so the pudding was a bit lumpy, but still quite tasty. Neither my husband nor I had any complaints.

The recipe yield was four servings, so we halved it, putting half in the fridge. With our track record, if we hadn't put half away immediately, we could have demolished the whole batch in one go.

A bit of an aside, to explain how much I love More With Less, I'd say this: If I could only have one cookbook for the rest of my life, it would be a toss up between More with Less and my older version of Joy of Cooking. I'd probably try to find book binder to combine the two into one, super cooking resource.

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