09 April, 2017

Self-saucing pudding

I had fun this week by putting the word "pudding" up on my Facebook page and asking my friends, who hale from a variety of backgrounds, how they used this word. I had over 100 responses. This is a summary of what they said:

Americans: it is a smooth, gelatin-type creamy dessert of varying flavours, often based on Jello. Although a handful of exceptions came up: bread pudding, banana pudding, rice pudding, and cottage pudding. Edit: I knew I could get in trouble writing this. My American proofreading friend has said this is wrong. He suggested I put this: "It is a sweet, smooth, milk-based creamy dessert of varying flavours." Other feedback suggests that it is not necessarily made with gelatine or Jello.

Australians: many remember when they were growing up that the sweet course after mains at the evening meal was called "pudding" no matter what it was, but now call that course "dessert". 

British: were split. Some call anything sweet you eat after dinner pudding, some do a similar split to Australians. I believe it is something of a geographical split, but I don't have a clear reference for that. Some also had other things they called pudding, non-sweet things like Yorkshire pudding which goes with roast beef or a steak d kidney pudding.

I got no responses from other English-speaking countries like New Zealand, South Africa, or Singapore.

On Thursday I made chocolate self-saucing pudding (my recipe is here) to share with friends who invited us to dinner on Friday. I have a US friend who is curious about the creation of this dessert, so here are some pictures of the process:

First the cake-like batter went into the dish.

Then I mixed together cocoa and brown sugar.

And sprinkled this over the top of the cake-like batter.

After that I gently poured boiling water over the whole thing.

Finished, it looked like this and then went into the oven.

I neglected to take a photo of the end effort. Actually the dish I used for this was too small (because I'd doubled the recipe and calculated badly on the volume, a common problem for me that makes me a bad packer too). Because it was too small, the final product didn't look great as it had overflowed and baked onto the edge and outside of the dish. 

However it tasted great. On top it looks like a normal-ish cake-like dessert, but when you take out a serving, you find thick chocolate sauce has formed at the bottom (check the recipe I linked to above to see a photo of this). Magic!

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