No, I’m not talking about something that once happened upon a mattress and included chocolate pudding. Get your mind out of the gutter!
This past week my older son was performing in his high school musical production of Once Upon A Mattress. It’s a funny tale, a modernized version, of the Princess And The Pea story that you remember from your youth. At least, I remember it from my youth. Most of the kids in the production had no idea that it was based on an actual fairy tale.
He and his fellow school mates have rehearsed since early November. Usually for a few hours after school, three to five days per week. There was even a few full Saturday rehearsals thrown in towards the end.
It takes a lot of people to put on a production like that. Not only the students but also the director, teachers, school support staff, costumers, choreographers, band students and music teachers, make-up people, light & sound guys, set designers, and parents and families. The magnitude of effort, time, energy, and commitment is astounding. They put on five shows in three days and it was fantastic!
On the way home from the final performance, as my exhausted son was sleeping in the car, I thought about how proud I was of him and everyone who makes a show like this possible. What a great portrayal of The Arts in our school and of community support.
Everyone involved deserves a pat on the back for a job well done. Now they can all take a well deserved break and have a chocolate pudding parfait as a reward.
This is a rich, smooth treat that is only made better with the best quality chocolate you can find.
For the chocolate pudding:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups whipping (heavy) cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 oz (about 1 cup) finely chopped dark chocolate (at least 65% cacao)
For the Chantilly cream:
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the chocolate drizzle, shavings, and decoration:
3 oz dark chocolate
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, egg yolks, and milk. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the whipping cream and vanilla extract. Heat the cream until just before it is boiling, or until bubbles begin to form around the edges and it is visibly steaming. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and in a thin steady stream, pour the cream into the cocoa and egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
Re-heat the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook the pudding, stirring gently, for 5 - 6 minutes or until it is slightly thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chopped dark chocolate. Mix gently until the chocolate is completely melted and the pudding is smooth.
Pour the pudding into small serving bowls or glasses. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until cooled and set.
To make the Chantilly cream:
Chill the bowl and whisk attachment from your stand mixer in the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for 5 minutes.
Begin by whisking the cream on medium-high speed for 2 or 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer to high speed and whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks and will hold it's shape. Use a pastry bag to pipe the Chantilly cream, or spoon the cream, over each pudding.
Begin by using a cheese grater to shave a small amount of chocolate over each pudding parfait. Chop any remaining chocolate into small even pieces. Put the chocolate in a microwave safe dish and heat the chocolate for 30 seconds on high. Stir. Repeat if necessary in 20 second intervals, stirring after each, until the chocolate is melted.
Pour the melted chocolate into the corner of a small Ziploc bag. Twist the bag to close it and this will keep the chocolate in the corner of the bag.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. Cut the tip off the corner of the Ziploc bag and drizzle each pudding parfait with a small amount of melted chocolate. Then create different designs directly onto the parchment paper. Refrigerate the baking sheet until the chocolate is set. Place one chocolate decoration on each chocolate pudding parfait.