Sunday, January 24, 2016

Incredible Chocolate Quinoa Pudding

I haven’t been writing.

Or baking.

Or Experiencing.

I’ve been depressed.

  But today I needed to bake. I was supposed to planning Thanksgiving Dinner, instead I was thinking that I wasn’t going to have a chance to bake and enjoy myself playing in the kitchen because… it was going to be Thanksgiving! Who gets to play on Thanksgiving?!

  Because everyone is making a dish the kitchen will be crazy and well run on Thanksgiving Day. So tonight I played. Pizza, peanut butter balls, and just for me… just to play...I created a new version of my Incredible Chocolate Rice Pudding.

  I ran across the recipe once a long time ago in a magazine… I don’t recall which one but I think it may have had other chocolate recipes. I liked the recipe right away. I think I may have liked it most because it was simple and grown up and I could eat it cold out of the refrigerator after the kids finally fell asleep, because there were actually left overs cuz no one likes rice but me! Probably not the best reason for liking a desert, but it is a memory.
So I decide I am making Incredible Chocolate Rice Pudding and instantly have to start re thinking the recipe.

It was fun!

  I like to think as much as I like to bake. And read. I probably like reading more than baking though. Either way I was thinking because, I had no rice. Ya kinda need rice to make rice pudding. So re thinking…. Opening cabinets… thinking… oh this is easy! I have Quinoa!
  I am making Incredible Chocolate Quinoa Pudding. Now, how do you make Incredible Chocolate Quinoa Pudding?


  I meet this girl on a gaming site and we talked cooking. I think she would like what I did here. She was fun to game with, too. I had shared with her a failed recipe I had made of some Quinoa cookies. They just did not turn out right. Then when I froze them they tasted like mold! I mean, how messed did I make them to have them mold in the freezer!?! I was unhappy. I shared the recipe and she made them but didn’t have any trouble. Isn’t it nice to know you are the problem with your recipe?

  We had chatted about the steps she took to make the actually good cookies and I recalled she mentioned she had made the quinoa with sugar water instead of just water! I thought it was brilliant! I have used stock when making savory dishes, but had not thought to do such a simple step when making sweet things! So, I decided to do that first! I would make the Quinoa with sugar water as my first step! A bold new attempt at an old favorite!

 Yes. It was that exciting.
 Shut up.

Okay, not really first step. The first step was rinse the quinoa

I have read in more than one place to use the blender to rise the quinoa because it takes a lot of water to get that soapy coating off the seed. I don’t know what I did wrong. I thought I followed what I had read about using the blender to rinse it, but somehow instead of just rinsing my seeds it seemed to blend them up a bit too. If anyone out there has used a blender to clean their Quinoa would you please let me know your experience?

I ran the seed through 3 or 4 changes of water, letting the water and seeds blend on random speeds as I experimented until the water looked frothy and grey. Then I strained out the dirty water with a mesh strainer to keep the seed, refilled the blender with clean water and repeated. My youngest assisted… which mostly means she made fun of me being perplexed over the apparent blending of the seed, while she was supposed to be doing dishes. She’s helpful like that.

But I was playing and enjoying the whole process. I set the quinoa to cook with the prescribed amount of water and then added 1/3 cup of sugar to the pan. I think now that that may have been an excessive amount. Or more precisely I think I ended up adding twice the sugar needed and made the dessert too sweet. Yes, there is such a thing as too sweet in my world!

I followed the recipe that you’ll see at the bottom of this post. I did not even offer anyone else a serving as I scooped out my serving, I already knew their answer and didn’t want to hear any disparaging comments on my dessert. I was enjoying the whole process, eating it was just part of the overall fun!

It worked. The texture of the partially blended quinoa was a great deal different then the rice version. The chocolate chips seemed to have merged with the blended quinoa to make a chocolate mash under the chocolate custard layer. It was a lovely varied chocolate textured experience in my mouth!
The changes I want to make for the next attempt will be to add cinnamon to the coco powder step and I really need to improve my quinoa cooking technique. I keep hearing about rice cookers and maybe that is the answer….along with a new rinsing technique.

I am really glad I played and baked this dessert before Thanksgiving. It helped me focus and not take things so seriously when I first dropped a tray a raising rolls and then the pan of turkey drippings. Thanksgiving was wonderful and I still have one serving of Incredible Chocolate Quinoa Pudding I can eat right out of the refrigerator, after the kids have gone to bed and I am up late doing my homework.

Incredible Quinoa Pudding

4 eggs, Slightly beaten
2 cups Whole Milk
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Power
1 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Cooked Quinoa, cooled
4 oz Semisweet Mini Chocolate Chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl beat together eggs, milk, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla with a mixer or whisk. Stir in quinoa and mini chips.

2. Pour custard mixture into a 1 1/2 -2 quart casserole dish. Place the casserole dish in a cake pan that is big enough to leave a few inches around the casserole dish. Place them on a oven rack. Then carefully pour boiling water into the cake pan till at least an inch of water is in the pan.

3. Bake uncovered for 60-65 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.