Chocolate Pudding

Birthdays:
– Bright side: Gifts, some grow wiser!
– Flip side: Aging, others grow round the middle:)

 

On 12th I leapt a year forward – figuratively speaking – for I would have landed on my belly had this been literal. The belly is right now the high point of my life inviting doubtful glances! On the bright side, it (the belly) does pose some advantages. Once I was traveling in the 2nd class compartment of a packed local train to Churchgate, and the belly came to the rescue. I ouched because my elbow hit somewhere, and one kindly lady who was getting off, offered me her seat saying she understood how ‘difficult it can be’, and how selfish people had become – not even offering seats to those in need. I was taken aback for a second, and then realized what she meant. Protesting I said, “No no, it is…..” but the lady would not allow me to go further thinking I was refusing her offer out of decency. I resigned myself to fate deciding to play along rather than becoming a laughing stock!! She was probably doing her ‘good act’ for the day, so why not give her the pleasure, I thought! I touched my stomach and gave a tolerant smile and replied, ‘Hmmm…., it’s OK”, careful not to overdo it. I got to sit the rest of the way, and even caught a short nap!

On to the real high point of that day:

My children bought me a six piece tea set with heart shaped cups and saucers. Pretty, aren’t they?:)

 

Jr.H slipped a lovely colorful handmade card into my hands as she woke me up. It read, “To MOM – The madam of merry,” as she could not think of any better term for me:). There were a lot of other things the card had – hearts, stars and Garfield (adorable, isn’t he?) stuck randomly but, what I savored was the fragrance of nearly thirteen years of love, mischief, revisits to childhood, friendship, kinship and togetherness with a wonderful ‘angel with devilish horns’. I also basked under the glory of the ending – ‘MOM rocks’:). I hugged her and quickly blinked away the tears that filled my eyes so that she couldn’t see them, lest she says – “Mummy, why do you cry so easily?”

Not for long though! The ‘angel who is a pain in the @## when he is around and a pain in the heart when he is not’ i.e., Jr.P – still happy to be cuddled – gave a characteristic bear hug, sat on my lap, came up close to my ear and whispered, “Please, can we celebrate your birthday with that sticky – not vegan – chocolate pudding you made before?” I hugged him close and laughed – a nine year old boy often brings reality back to the fore, and is very clear about his preferences;)!!

 

P bought me a pretty shirt – since the camera was given a day before – which made me wistful because it was a size small making me realize all was not nice while growing rounder in the middle! Sighhh….

I am sure it is with most of us (am I wrong?) that we tend to be less peppy about ‘Happy Birthdays’ when we cross thirty. When I say that, I do not mean ‘not happy’ but ‘excited in a different way’. The ‘date’ is no longer an anticipatory thing for flashing new clothes or throwing a party, but a more simple celebration with family and sometimes a few close friends. My birthdays get done in phases – one with P and the kids, a small ‘treat’ at office, and another one with my lunching friends.

I still am excited about many things which last for a few moments but make everlasting memories – P’s whisper when the clock strikes 12, the kids rushing in to wake me up with cards, tea, and kisses at the crack of dawn, they blocking me from entering their room and me pretending that I do not really know whats going on, the incessant ringing of the phone signaling calls from Parents, Sisters, Sisters/Mother-in-law, and friends!! The signs of living, and loving that give me the reason to look forward to more birthdays (aging? who cares!), and I never ever take any of these signs for granted.

As years pass I find myself more aware of the need for people, and the passage of time and its unpredictability. I make it a point to try and be more diplomatic, leave a smile on faces, accept the other’s point of view just to end an argument that does not lead anywhere though, frank and rash is said to be my middle name! Ten years ago, I would have stood my ground in an argument if I was right but now I don’t feel it is worth when all you end up with is a soured relationship. The world is my tapestry, and all I want is to weave in more and more beautiful threads of memories……while I do strive to live one day at a time! Sometimes, I do break the rule – what is life if full of care?:)

That is exactly what I meant when I said ‘excited in a different way’. I do not wait for a V’day or a B’day having seen what isolation can do, having seen close people succumbing to death….., and I never found the time to tell them what they meant! So if you love someone express it, and if you love something follow your dream – tomorrow is unpredictable and today is the only chance you have. After all that gyaan, I did celebrate B’day with a sticky ‘not vegan’ pudding cake, and V’day with my family – not with roses, cards or wine but by giving an extra long hug to the kids, and a most beneficial bear hug to P – which he promptly returned and rewarded the very same evening with one of the prettiest terracotta neckpieces:)

According to Jr.H reading all this from behind:
“The gist is that we are devils, and – who is that person who sounds so good? We have never seen her around here!!” Ha ha….the girl is growing:)

Before I go into another one of my incessant rants, let me just give the recipe that I veganized long back, make occassionally, but did not want to post till it became perfect – and I think it is now!

This is more of a ‘pudding cake’ then a custardy pudding. The earlier tofu chocolate pudding that featured on this belonged to the latter category. I think the tofu chocolate pudding can be easily made vegetarian (without eggs) by substituting the tofu with cornstarch and full cream milk to make a thick custard along with the same quantity of cocoa powder as I used earlier. The banana can be omitted, and instead the pudding can be generously flavored with 1/2 a tsp. of cinnamon powder, and served with a topping of whisked double cream.

The present recipe is more of an English pudding, that can be flavored with rum, and made a heavy one with dry fruits and plums steeped in rum if needed for Christmas. My version is a light one with a half-half use of oil and nutralite to reduce the amount of fat, and a personal blend of cornflour, whole wheat flour, and APF to make it a little healthy. It is my own recipe that has evolved after many sunken puddings, gooey puddings, and rich puddings!

Recipe: Vegan English Pudding Cake
(Own recipe)

Ingredients:

Flour – I used a blend of 25g cornflour + 50g Whole wheat flour (Ashirwaad atta) + 115g APF giving 190g total flour i.e., 1 + 3/4 cups. (In my measurement 1 Indian cup = 110g flour)
Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
Salt – a pinch
Baking powder – 1 + 1/2tsp.

Cashew milk / any other toned/lowfat milk – 3/4 cup
Nutralite (softened) – 3 tsps.
Sunflower oil – 1/4 cup
Sunrise Instant Coffee powder – 2tsp.
Sugar (brown/raw is preferable) – 1 cup (I use less sweet as this is enough for me – most recipes call for more)

Boiling hot water – 1and 1/2 cup or a little more if needed.

Optional:
Chopped pieces of dark chocolate/plain chocolate/white chocolate.

Method:
Stir flour blend, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and sieve once to get a uniform mix.

Grind the milk, nutralite, oil, coffee powder and sugar to get a thickish mixture.

Add the flour little by little folding it into the wet mixture without forming lumps and without beating. Only use cut and fold or stir it a little. If it gets too thick add another 1/4 cup of boiling water till all the flour is used up, and you get a thick but ‘stirrable’ mixture.

Scoop a tablespoon of the batter into well-greased ramekins, oven safe shot glasses or moulds. I used one medium sized pudding mould, and four shot glasses.

Pour boiling hot water over the batter – a tbsp. each in the small moulds, and 1/4 cup in the bigger one.

Since my son had insisted on sticky chocolate pudding, I chopped lots of white cooking chocolate and dark ones and folded them into the pudding. This notches up the taste high, but is optional. You may add raisins, dry fruits etc. which have been steeped in rum for two days for a more festive approach.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 to 200 (not more) deg. C. for 25 to 30 minutes for the individual moulds, and about 40 minutes for the big mould. Test with a toothpick and bake till the top is firm to touch and the toothpick comes out clean. The rims might have some stickiness but that is alright.

Serve warm with ice cream, or sprinkled with icing sugar or topped with chocolate ganache. I did not have ice cream to go with it, but it tasted great by itself. My son had it with icing sugar as he felt the sugar was less. My daughter, husband and I liked it as it was.

Next morning, I wanted to pour white chocolate ganache but ‘current current’ problems resulted in some overcooked ganache. The kids however liked it. (Second picture below)


My white vegan topping:

Cashew cream and cashew milk
I ground about 1/2 cup cashew with a cup of hot water, and strained it. The strained cream, not the residue was then whipped well with a tsp. of oil, and 2tsp. of soyvita powder to give a tasty creamy concoction which I used as a topping. (You can see it in the third picture below). I reserved the residue in the strainer for later use. I washed the grinder and the strainer in 1/2 cup of hot water and used this as the chocolate milk in the recipe above.

This was way too tasty! The pudding is absolutely airy, so try and top it with an imaginative sauce that will seep through it. My neighbours loved it too, and my little friend (K’s baby) who is all of 3years old too one piece to nursery for break. πŸ™‚

Event submissions:
This pudding cake is made at my son’s request, so I am also sending it to Alka of Sindhi Rasoi for her lovely event ‘Just for you’ to celebrate her first blog anniversary.

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Comments

Have your say

  1. This vegan dessert looks decadent! Happy birthday!

  2. Wishing you a Belated Happy Birthday!!I loved the first pic..even the empty pudding bowl looks so pretty!!;-).Loved the heart shaped tea set too..Vegan pudding sounds like a great idea and adding chocolate for that gooey effect is awesome.Got to try this one out!!

  3. Happy birthday Harini!!!!!!!!!!
    Chocolate pudding is looking yummy.

  4. Happy Bday Harini..:)
    I really enjoyed ur post..Nice write up..The first incident made me laugh so much..:)
    Pudding looks ultimate..I have always gone for the simple ones..:)

  5. Belated b’day wishes. Loved the bright and flip sides of the birthdays.

    Pudding looks rich and creamy.

  6. Happy Birthday!
    the pudding looks sinful πŸ™‚
    I love the engraved mug!!!

  7. Mahimaa's kitchen

    pudding looks heavenly SM.

  8. First things first….Happy Birth day to u,Happy birth day to u,Though it’s belated still….Happy Birthday to u….clapssssss πŸ˜‰
    Well u can’t describe the Birthdays of Moms in more appropriate manner ,in more apt words than u did in this beautifully written post.
    its so very true that we dont feel that excitement on our own B’day as we did when were young(Ah being on wrong side of 30 shudn’t be actually called OLD)but yeah hugs and wishes and cute lil’ gifts from these devils (or angels…we get so confused as wht to call them) and that irritating specimen,called Hubby are all that we enjoy on our B-day.I hate to do elaborate cooking on my B’day and so poor hubby never invites anyone home on his or my B’day…i love to be pampered with some restaurant food,an off from kitchen and mundane chores,and feel really glad when my kiddie tries to be a real nice kid,hugging and kissing,obeying me to the T,so tht i feel happy….Oh these lovely days….wish they never end πŸ˜‰
    Good that u enjoyed ur day,and hey that pudding looks toothsome haan πŸ™‚

  9. Happy B’day!! Love the tea set,and pudding as well!

  10. Belated Happy brithday wishes to the Madame of Merry πŸ™‚
    Yeah and i totally agree with getting round in the belly.
    Well actually i fully agree with the whole post.
    Expanding belly or not, i still would love to have that delicious choco pudding cake.

  11. Belated Bday!!! lovely pudding!!!

  12. HiHarini

    Belated Bday wishes…….The writeup before the recipe was so nice.u have a knack for writing & u could have been a good journolist or writer.And for the recipe it is so very tempting & thanx to mention the vegetrian options also

  13. Belated Birthday wishes…..Chupke Chupke you celebrated your b’day….Hm no cake for me Mdam of Merry. These are very lovely words….Hope you had happy time and yummy too with those vegan recipes….

  14. Happy birthday to you! You are showing us the empty glass first! ;D

    Looks decadent, enjoy. LOVE LOVE those heart shaped mugs, so cute!! πŸ™‚

  15. Happy Birthday! Nice writeup. Sometimes I don’t feel so bad about growing a bit older, learn to understand the other point of view and not stand our grounds(like you pointed out beautifully) but other times when I have to think twice about eating 2 servings of choclate pudding in one go, wish I were a young 20 something. But hey you can’t have it all can you?

  16. lovely post,..:-)enjoyed every bit,..nd chocolte puddin looks delicious,..:-)cute mugs too,..

  17. nd ya belated though ,,,wish u mny mny happy returns of the dy,..

  18. Belated Happy Birthday…Love those tea cups..very cute..Yummmmy pudding..chocolaty and gooey..

  19. Happy Bday! Madame of Merry sound very cute!

  20. Happy Birthday Harini ! Lovely post and the mugs look so cute…the chocolate pudding sounds delicious, a great way to celebrate birthday’s for sure πŸ™‚

  21. Happy B’Day H πŸ™‚ U ve beautifully ranted about love and the purpose of living! Is that age makes us think like that?
    What a tasty decadent pudding cake, wonderful gifts set!

  22. Pavithra Kodical

    Happy Birthday Harini!!
    Chocalate pudding looks yummy.Loved those mugs πŸ™‚

  23. Very Happy Birthday Harini…the pudding looks divine and the cups are really cute…A great post, enjoyed reading..

  24. The chocolate pudding looks so yummy and inviting… πŸ™‚ (Sigh!!)
    The tea cups are sooo cute!

    Happy Birthday!

  25. Happy b’day Harini! Gooey pudding looks good. πŸ™‚ Loved the wiped clean glass. πŸ™‚

  26. Happy Birthday Harini!! Children are joy inspite of occassional pain in the …. those mugs are so cute. u have 2 so precious angels & U write sooo well.

    Thats a decadent delectable looking dessert.

  27. Sunshinemom, Happy birthday! By the way, we are only a day apart: my birthday was on the 13th. Aquarius power! And I can completely understand the pain of tacking on that additional year, having just done it myself πŸ™
    I love the pudding, and particularly your vegan version of white-chocolate ganache. Is the soyvita powder just regular soymilk powder? I know someone here must sell soymilk powder, but I just haven’t found it yet– maybe I need to look online. I know a million things I’d like to do to it πŸ™‚

  28. Thank you everyone for your wishes and lovely comments!! I have been late in acknowledging the wishes – my apologies!

    Indhu, I wondered what you meant by engraved!! Then I realized – the cup is not engraved! I typed my copy right with a personal style in photoshop!! Ha ha:) But thanks – that was such a nice compliment:)

    Alka, yaar, thank you:) Mujhe bhi khana banane me zyaada dilchaspi nahi rehti hai birthdays aur annv. par, but my son doesn’t eat ‘bahar ka khana’:( P cooks a little, we get a dish from a good restaurant and I make the dessert!! As for wishing that days would not end – darling think of the lovelier days to come – it is a rollercoaster ride:)

    Vijaya, most welcome:)

    Pinky, thank you:) filhaal I will take happiness in just spreading joy to a few people – you made my day!

    Lubna, Ab kya kahein! Chaalis ke paas aate aate bas chupke chupke manana hi theek hai:)

    Masala vade, Welcome and hope you have had an interesting time here:) Yep! MOM is cute!

    Vaish, Happy birthday, soul sis!! Divine connections:) Soyvita is a fortified soy milk powder, and tastes a lot like horlicks. That is why I end up eating a lot of that powder instead of making a milk out of it:) I am sure you will have a lot of things to do with it – hope you find it!!

  29. those mugs are so cute!!

    and yes, you can submit archived recipes too, as many as you want πŸ™‚

  30. Many many happy returns Harini! Thank god I am not alone in the belly zone! Your choc pudding has started of my lunch craving an hour early!

    Madam of Merry – where is your entry for Kitchen Masterpiece? It drove me mad too, until Chitra Amma came to the rescue! Hey check ‘food art’ in google images – they have amazing stuff..can trigger some ideas!

  31. Belated birthday wishes Harini, I enjoyed reading your post. I haven’t glanced at the recipe yet, but the pictures look awesome. The way you have written about the kids warmed my heart. Could not agree more, ‘they are a pain in the neck when around and pain in heart when they are not’.
    So glad that you had a wonderful time with your family as that matters the most.Beautiful writing!

  32. HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! Harini. Loved the writeup. Birthdays are fun at whatever age it may be, celebrating life and God’s gift to enjoy HIS beautiful world. Of course, hubby and kids make it all the more enjoyable.

  33. Happy belated birthday wishes from me Harini…chocolate pudding makes me hungry, absolutely delish:)

  34. harini!! happy belated birthday!! tum jiyo hazaaron saal,saal ke din hon pachaas hazaar. I am so out of commission right now its not funny, hardly doing blog rounds and no posts too. just vegetating i guess. but i just skimmed through your posts so much to read and such yummy treats, will be back soon and read everything in detail. you take care, god bless. kids are such cutie pies i love the teacups… super cute.{{{{you}}}}

  35. Belated Birthday wishes to Sunny Mom of Merry.Love the post and love the gift.ITs a treasure to be cherished.The chocolate pudding is definitely yummy with all the love poured in.
    I agree with you-belly comes to my rescue as well πŸ˜‰
    Never ever worry about aging,you are as old as you feel.Sometimes,I feel that I am as old as my mother.I too have given up arguing about what is right-better that way and we have much peace in life.
    Enjoy the gift and cherish the moments.

  36. Belated B’day wishes…lovely gifts and lovelier read the post made.

  37. Delectable birthday treat,the richness and intense color of the pudding is tempting me to try the recipe right away.
    Thoughtful gift from your sweet hearts.I wish you the happiest of birthdays:)

  38. Belated birthday wishes. Love your kids’ gift. they have a good taste πŸ™‚

  39. Belated Birthday wishes dear.. The empty glass is a proof of how well received the dessert was.. Looks yummy. Got to try this. Very cute gifts from your loved ones. You are putting that camera of yours to good use πŸ˜€

  40. Belated Happy birthday Harini,the Pudding is sinful:)I enjoyed reading ur blog.

  41. Lovely, lovely pudding. And even though you claim this is vegan, it’s every bit as sinful as a regular one πŸ™‚

  42. Belated Happy Birthday dear Harini. Love your post and agree with all you said about celebration days and getting older. It really isn’t a specific day like birthday or vday..it really is every day that matters. I enjoy the simple gestures and catching up with everyone who remembers to call and email.

  43. Wish you a belated Happy Birthday!
    Hope you had a great time with your family!

  44. Late again!
    But I was early with the wishes though I’m wishihng you happy birthday again. I love the way you veganise food, but even finding tofu here can be a bit of an adventure!!
    I identify with just about everything in this post, Harini, including the growing middle, though I would like to believe I’m not that far gone.:D

  45. Vanillastrawberryspringfields

    U have a lovely blog out here…with loads of delicious recipes….am so totally in love with these little cuppys …absolutely dang cute….u have adorable children to gift u these…infact i reached ur blog searching for ramekin moulds in red and white n heart shaped ….am actually lookig for 'em so much for so long and boy would love to pick these,can u please…puleeze pinky promise puleeseeeeee can u help me with the address from where u got 'em …u got em in india?

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