First, I’m not really dead. But I was killed yesterday–many, many times–by an 8-year-old with an Incredible Imagination. His mother, lovely Neighbor Roberta, invited me to go to the park with them yesterday, and I, without realizing what this Outing would Entail, said yes. It turns out that “going to the park” is a euphemism in their family for “getting killed by the creatures of Jackson’s imagination.”
First, he said he would protect us, and then he’d turn into any one of a number of Terrible Imaginary Creatures–Toofurs and Nodurs are the ones I remember–and Harm Us with pine cone hand grenades, stick swords, energy beams of various sorts and plain old ripping out of throats. Every once in awhile, Jackson would emerge to say he really would keep us safe, and then he’d become some other Bloodthirsty Creature who wanted nothing more than to Eat Us. It was kind of like going to the park with Sybil.
In a good way, mind you. It was very cool to be around a kid with an incredible imagination. It was also Rather Exhausting. What with all the fresh air and killing and running and searching for Rings of Fate and The Book of Mysteries, not to mention the grenade throwing, Miss Jenni was surely in need of a nap before it was all over. As soon as I got home, I grabbed myself a bowl of pudding and then curled up on the couch to nod off to Jurassic Park. A lovely way to recover, indeed.
After the Park Mocha Pudding (based on Brenda’s Chocolate Pudding from Gooey Desserts)
This doubles nicely, so if you are in need of Lots of Pudding, go for it.
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 4 oz granulated sugar
- 3 oz brown sugar
- 1 oz flour
- 3 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder (rounded as much as you like)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup very strong coffee
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 oz. unsalted butter
Now, the Actual Rules say that you should temper the boiling starch-thickened mixture into the eggs, but I wanted to make One Bowl Pudding. Plus, I knew that the starch in the flour would Impede Curdling of the eggs, so I whisked everything together except the vanilla and butter over high-ish heat until it thickened and came to a boil. Then, I poured it through a fine strainer into a bowl (that’s the One Bowl I was talking about) containing the vanilla and butter.
If you’re going to cheat like I did, make sure you whisk madly the entire time you’re heating your mixture. Mine frothed up and was quite poufy and creamy. Whisk and whisk. When it’s thick enough and Ready to Pour, you’ll know because all the whisked up bubbles will magically go away. Do make sure you let it boil for at least 10 seconds or so to cook out the raw starch taste of the flour. As long as you are whisking madly and then immediately pour the Molten Pudding through a strainer, you shouldn’t have any Curdling Issues.
Once you get all of your ingredients (minus the butter and vanilla) mixed up, taste it for seasoning and add more salt if you need to. If you don’t find it Coffee-ish enough, add in a bit of powdered espresso or some coffee extract, if you can find some. Trablit is an excellent one that we used to use at the restaurant. It’s pretty expensive, but it lasts a long time ’cause you get a whole liter.
Oh–that topping? I made it Specially to top the last bit of pudding that I had Selflessly Saved for The Beloved. It’s just some sour cream whisked together with some sugar and a pinch of salt. Let it sit for a few minutes so all the sugar dissolves, whisk it again, and then top whatever with it. Very easy and very tasty. Plus, the tang of the sour cream cuts the richness of the pudding a bit.
I would have shared with Jackson, but I don’t think he’d like it. He pretty much only likes Chicken Nuggets.