Monday, January 17, 2011

Warming Mayan Dark Chocolate Pudding-Recipe Included

Just as we each have our own unique energy that we may impart on all that we do in life, so does food.  Eleven years ago, I apprenticed under an Acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, and during my time with them I learned about food energetics and the Eastern philosophy of nutrition.  They taught me how to eat according to the seasons as well as my own constitution in order to boost health and increase vitality.  The concept is that every food has a thermal energy that directly relates to how that food will interact with the body; food can be cold, cooling, neutral, warming, or hot.  According to this time-tested philosophy, it is important to eat foods that are thermally appropriate for the current season.  So, during the winter months, eat foods that have an energetically warming nature to counter the cold environment.  Ok, more on food energetics in another blog, but now for the good news.  We can infuse warmth into desserts and even chocolate!    
Adding spices that are “warming” to your dishes is one way to influence the food’s energetic properties.  In this recipe, sweet and decadent chocolate is paired with warming and fragrant clove, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and cayenne.

You’ll notice my pudding recipe calls for agar and kudzu starch, two alternative thickeners that have the whole foods seal of approval.  They can be found in the Asian section of your natural health food store by the sea vegetables.  Just follow my recipe’s directions very carefully if you’ve never used these products before.
Treat yourself to this luscious pudding and start adding these 5 spices to your other dishes this winter to give your body an extra boost.  Stay in touch, and let me know how much you enjoy this decadent treat.  
Yours In Cooking & In Health,

This pudding makes a comforting dessert for the colder months by infusing flavor with a variety of spices that will fuel the body’s inner fire.  In the summer, omit the spices and skip the steps required for infusing the water to create a delicious traditional chocolate pudding.  Serve it with a glass of organic grass-fed whole milk and savor each bite.  

Preparation Time: 35 minutes to cook, 45 minutes to chill
Yields: four 5-ounce servings     

¾ cup purified water                                                      
3 whole star anise pods 
2-3 cinnamon sticks 
5 whole cloves 
3 cardamom pods 
Pinch cayenne
2 teaspoons agar flakes
1 cups organic grass-fed whole milk
¾ cup of organic heavy whipping cream
5 ½ tablespoons unrefined sugar (Sucanat or Rapadura)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup of bitter-sweet baking chocolate chips (or Green and Blacks 72% baking bar, chopped)
2 tablespoons kudzu
1/8-1/4 cup purified water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon, for dusting

Bring water, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cayenne to a boil in a 2-quart sauce pan, covered.  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes or until liquid reduces by half.  Strain out spices and return water back to same pan.  Add agar, cover and cook on low for 7 to10 minutes until agar dissolves.  

Add the milk, cream and sugar to a 3-quart or larger sauce pan on medium-low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.  Add the salt and cocoa powder and whisk until there are no lumps and the pudding is smooth, about 3 to5 minutes.  Add the chocolate and continue whisking until the chocolate is completely melted, about 2 to 5 minutes.  

Stir in the infused water and agar mixture to milk and cook for 5 more minutes.  Then dissolve the kudzu in water on the side and add the slurry to milk, whisking until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and quickly stir in the vanilla.  Pour the pudding through a fine mesh strainer into a 4-cup glass measuring cup.  Pour pudding into individual ramekins or a glass loaf pan.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.  Serve chilled and dust with cinnamon.
TipTo make this recipe dairy-free, simply substitute canned full-fat coconut milk in place of the regular milk and cream.  

Copyright 2010, S. Sammartino, Original recipe

1 comment:

  1. All the ingredients sound incredible! I can't to try this - thanks for sharing Siona!