Sunday, 9 December 2007

SHF#1: God Save The Queen!

I'd been at a loss for what to post up here next last week, mostly because I was away for half of it (a university interview in Oxford ^__^), and on my return we survived a few days on meals hauled out of the freezer and such. But then I got an email from Zorra about this month's Sugar High Friday, with its pudding theme.

SHF #38 - The proof is in the Pudding!

I had one of those moments. That vision-of-sugar-plums moment where my eyes glaze over and I start drooling with anticipation.

Pudding is one thing I can do.
Alright, so France has its patisseries, and America has pumpkin pie, but in Britain, if something's thick and stodgy and sits in your stomach for about a week since you ate it? We're good at that. So I went through the stack of recipe books at the end of my bed (I have no shelf space to put them on, so I hide them under my duvet when the cleaner comes) to find a quintessentially British pudding.

Within about a minute I'd found at least three recipes for Queen of Puddings, and my mind was made up.

I love the Queen. It's one of those things. Immediately upon entering my room you see this poster on the end of my desk, and at school we can't go a day in the Common Room without drinking a cup of tea 'to the Queen!' In fact, just to reinforce my point - about an hour ago I got a text from my friend Ed Philip adressed to me Elizabeth, signed 'HRH', which made me laugh no end.

So since this is my very first blogging event, I'm hoping the Queen is on my side ^__^

To make this pudding my own I combined about three similar recipes I came across and changed the base a bit- usually it's just white breadcrumbs, milk and caster sugar, but I made it into a chocolate affair and replaced the raspberry or strawberry jam layer with black cherry. This is also generally made in a large dish but I made it in individual ramekins for a bit of a change =]

Chocolate Queen of Puddings

50g dark chocolate
400ml milk
2 heaped tbsp drinking chocolate powder (cocoa powder would also work, but we had none in, and you'd probably need to add more sugar if you used it)
80g breadcrumbs (usually they'd need to be white, but with this being a chocolate version I don't think it matters)
25g + 100g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
4tsp black cherry jam

1. Oven to 180C. Break up the dark chocolate and melt it in a saucepan with the milk and drinking chocolate until it has melted and all combined together.

2. Place the breadcrumbs in a large bowl with 25g caster sugar and pour the chocolate milk over it. Mix well and leave to soak for about half an hour, then beat in the two egg yolks. Divide between four ramekins and bake for 30 mins, or until firm.

3. Whisk the two egg whites in a large clean bowl into soft peaks. Gradually, whisk in the 100g of caster sugar to make a thick, glossy meringue.

4. Spread a heaped teaspoon of black cherry jam over the top of each dish of baked chocolate mixture, then pipe or spread the meringue over the top of that (I used a flat knife to twist it into peaks). Return to the oven for 10-15 mins (mine took 12) until the meringue is crisp and golden.

Excuse the poor photography D= My camera's being even more temperamental than usual, and the terrible weather (meaning bad lighting) doesn't help much. Though probably the real problem is more about the person behind the camera... X__X


zorra said...

Your pud is divine! Elizabeth would love it! :-)

Thanks for your first SHF entry. Hope to see more of you.

Anonymous said...

These look marvellous! I'd say the photos are actually quite good and the lighting isn't too bad either...the one let down is the blurriness :/ I don't mean to sound like a know-it-all, but here's a couple of tips for reducing blur when shooting in low light (yeah, I have a p&s too :))

- if you're shooting on a table, use your elbows to brace yourself
- exhale just before pressing the button
- try a makeshift tripod to steady the camera against. Something as simple as a tissue box can provide quite a bit of stability than holding the camera freely :)

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Anna said...

Zorra- thanks! I think I'll definitely be entering SHF in future, if only because of my sugar addiction...

Ellie - you don't sound at all like a know-it-all! The tips are great - I think the blurriness in the last one especially was because I had to lower the picture quality (as my memory card forgot it was supposed to be able to take about 200 photos at a time and decided I was only allowed to take five at best quality). Thanks very much for the help!

Anonymous said...

oh i love the queen and i love pudding of all kinds! this looks wonderful, yummmmmmmmmmmm!

Anna said...

Hi Aria, thanks for commenting! I think you're a girl after my own heart, haha... this post more or less covered two of my favourite things =P

steph- whisk/spoon said...

poor photograpy?? these look delicious! i love meringue-topped things!

Anonymous said...

i'm sure the queen was on your side for this pudding, just wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Positively regal!


Cakelaw said...

This sounds wonderful - I have never seen a chocolate version of Queen of Puddings before. Chocoate and cherry - a must-try combination!