Today I spent time with a sweet friend, hatching plans. We’re both at the age where we’ve rejected what our parents have told us — that the whole of our lives had to be decided once we stepped off that verdant lawn. Once we tossed our tasseled hats into the air, claiming we’re done with all that. We lived life according to plan, but the plan isn’t working and we’re off to forge a new one. Off to undo the damage all the years had done. But we must be patient and do it all right. Because the most important thing we have in our lives is time and our relationships with other people. So when I told my friend my whole roadmap, where I’d be and when, she said, you just gave me the chills.
So here’s to going where the day takes you. Here’s to toasting new ventures and a new year with great friends. And why not have some chocolate pudding along the way?
INGREDIENTS: Hot Chocolate Pudding 4-6 servings (small ramekins); 3 servings (large ramekins), adapted from David Lebovitz.
3 ounces (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
6 ounces (170g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (65g) sugar
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Set ramekins or baking dishes on a baking sheet.
Put the butter and chocolate in a medium-sized bowl, and set the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring gently until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Using an electric mixer, or by hand with a whisk, whip the eggs, sugar, and salt until the mixture is light and foamy, and just holding its shape – about 5 minutes with a machine, or longer by hand. Fold one-third of the beaten eggs into the chocolate to lighten it, then scrape the lightened chocolate mixture over the beaten eggs, and fold it in just until there are no streaks of eggs visible.
Divide the batter into the baking dishes, filling them no more then 3/4rds full.
Bake the puddings on the lower rack of the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until the puddings are puffed up, but a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with some soft, “gooey” chocolate attached. Since I used large ramekins, it took 27 minutes to cook.
Serve hot or at room temperature.