Happy Valentine's Day to my love who is 2500 miles away!!
Oh, how I wish I was with you, waking to the tropical trade winds and swaying palms in the shadow of Diamond Head... We could have enjoyed lunch at Kona Brewing Company, appreciating a brew or two with our Spinach Strawberry Salad and a Kohala Pizza before strolling along the beach, stopping to catch a few waves in the Waikiki surf prior to sunning ourselves like turtles on the warm sand. After a much needed afternoon nap, dinner at Roy's would have topped off our evening culminating with that tantalizing Chocolate Soufflé that we love so much!
|I received this text yesterday afternoon... OOOhhh!!! SO jealous!!|
Unfortunately work has once again taken my guy away on St. Valentine's Day, this time to the shores of Waikiki. However, after 19 years of his travels for work (ex-military turned airline pilot), we are pretty much used to it. We have come to the conclusion that holidays really don't need to be celebrated on a certain day just because the calendar says so. My son never knew the difference when Santa arrived on the 26th one year or on the 23rd the next. Birthdays were the most difficult for the kids, but even they are not as bothered as they used to be now that they are getting older... the celebration is when we are all together, and that's the important part.
As for Valentine's Day, we really don't celebrate this one in a big way anyway, Mr. and Mrs. Romance we are not. However, this year we marked the day on his one full day off in between trips with a nice flank steak and all of us together. Needing something chocolate to top it off, Liv and I turned to an old favorite, Double Chocolate Pudding, a recipe from Food and Wine first published in 1987, then republished in 2008.
Silky and luscious, this lower in calorie treat is just the thing to curb your sweet tooth or chocolate craving. Filled with dark chocolate we feel we are getting a good dose of those precious antioxidants along with a serving of calcium from the milk and protein from the eggs. Almost a health food, I think! ;) Easy to put together and pretty in little cups, this pudding is a winner year round for kids and adults alike.
Double-Chocolate Pudding, '87
adapted from Richard Sax, Food & Wine Magazine
1 3/4 cups skim milk (see note)
1/2 cups whipping cream or half and half
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 large egg yolks
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Lightly whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Chocolate decorations (optional... we used Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Hearts)
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the milk and 1/2 cup whipping cream with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the salt and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the unsweetened cocoa powder and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until blended. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and whisk until smooth. Whisk this mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, whisking constantly, until the pudding is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk the whole egg with the egg yolk. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot cocoa pudding into the eggs until thoroughly incorporated, then scrape the pudding back into the saucepan. Cook the pudding over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until it just comes to boil, about 2 minutes.
Strain the pudding into a medium heatproof bowl. Add the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla and whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and incorporated and the pudding is smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the pudding to ramekins or other serving bowls or cups and refrigerate until chilled. (If you're not in a hurry, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding in the bowl and refrigerate.) Serve with lightly whipped cream.
Note: On occasion I have made this pudding with all skim milk with good success (attempted due to the fact that that was all that I had on hand!). The original recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups whole milk, but we don't use whole milk, and I add varying amounts of cream or half and half to add an amount of richness to the dessert.