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Still on my homemade pudding kick. It’s so simple to do, I just have to experiment with flavours. Obviously, chocolate and peanut butter isn’t much of an experiment. It’s well-established fact that the two go together. But since I’ve never had peanut butter pudding (not even from a box mix!) I thought I’d give it a go.

Nothing says “peanut butter” like a crocus…. right? Ok, not really. But I’m still trying to figure out some food photography stuff, and introducing some “props.” Your thoughts on the flower? The colour scheme?

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layered Puddings

Peanut butter pudding:

1/2 cup sugar

5 tsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

1 3/4 cups whole milk (don’t use anythign other than whole milk!)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a saucepan, mix all the dry ingredients. Add milk and heavy whipping cream, and stir until the mixture boils. Let boil one minute, then add peanut butter. Return to a boil, and let boil one minute more. Remove from heat, and add vanilla extract. Let cool slightly.

Chocolate pudding:

6 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups whole milk (again, only use whole milk)

1/2 cup whipping cream

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract

Again, combine the dry ingredients in a saucepan. Add milk and heavy cream, and stir to a boil. Let boil one minute, then add chopped chocolate. Return to a boil, and boil for one minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool slightly.

Whipping cream

1 cup cold whipping cream

1 tbsp sugar (optional)

Whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form.

In a wine glass (or other glass container), fill 1/3 of the way with peanut butter pudding, 1/3 with chocolate pudding, and 1/3 with whipping cream. Or alternate this in any way you see fit for dramatic effect.

The peanut butter pudding can be overpowering, so try to use a little more chocolate pudding to the peanut butter pudding.

I promise the next post will not be about pudding. Enjoy!

How’s that for alliteration? Mmhmm!

In honor of Macaron Day (in France), I think it’s only fitting to have a post about macarons. I made four varieties, just to test out some new flavours. Some were winners, some were phenomenal!

From left to right: lemon, blueberry pancake, mint chocolate, and chocolate lavender.

I know I didn’t quite get the technique right; the macarons don’t have that little “foot” that many others have, but I was more interested in getting the flavour combinations down. The mint chocolate was very tasty and classic, the chocolate lavender was both rich and light, the lemon was especially tangy, and the blueberry pancake? Holy crap, it tasted just like a pancake… here’s how I put it all together:

Macaron Recipe

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds

3 tbsp cocoa powder (or 3 additional tbsp of ground almonds, if you’re not making the chocolate macarons)

2 egg whites

5 tbsp granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon mint extract, or 1/4 cup dried blueberries

Blend the cocoa, powdered sugar, and ground almonds together so they are very fine. Beat the eggs whites to medium stiff consistency, then slowly add the granulated sugar, while beating, until stiff consistency. At this point, add the mint extract, if you’re making mint macarons. VERY CAREFULLY fold in the almond mixture, being careful not to overfold. If you’re making the blueberry pancake macarons, this is the time to add the dried blueberries. Scoop the entire mixture into a piping bag with a #12 tip. Spray two baking sheets with water, then line with parchment paper. Carefully trace 1.5″ diameter circles all over the paper, and pipe the mixture until it fills each circle. Bake at 375 F for 15-18 minutes, then let them cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

Sandwich the cookies with jam, caramel, or ganache, and let them sit for a day (covered), if at all possible. The flavours really mature after a day, and the texture is much better if they sit and rest!

For the lemon macarons, fill each cookie with a 1:2 ration of lemon curd to vanilla buttercream. For the blueberry pancake macarons, use a small amount of maple flavouring to the vanilla buttercream to get a nice, maple syrup taste.

For the chocolate lavendar macarons, fill each cookie with ganache, and then roll them in dried lavender.

Each mint macaron was filled with plain old rich dark chocolate ganache.

Give the blueberry pancake macarons a try! I know they sound weird, but they were incredible!