National Chocolate Custard Month, Believe It or Not

chocolate cookingIf for whatever personal perversity you wanted to test the chances of being able to grow tired of chocolate custard then today is the first day of the rest of your life (well, month really). They — again, who gave these proclaimers such power — deem May National Chocolate Custard Month (although there is a minority opinion that with some merit suggests celebrating not the whole month, but just the third day).

It’s not clear why “they” didn’t declare this (at least in America) as Nat’l Puddin’ Mont’ since most of our countrymen can’t explain or even tell the difference. (It has to do with ingredients and a preference for eggs in the big C and cornstarch or similar thickener in the little P.) But “they” didn’t so we get 31 days to play with the ideas inspired by eggs mixed with milk or cream, sweetened with honey, flavored with chocolate and maybe vanilla and then heated with a low flame until stiff.

Custard’s history goes back at least to ancient roman Marcus Gavius Apicius, often credited with being the first cookbook author, provides written history’s first pudding (tirpatinam) — no doubt lacking chocolate only because this particular gift of the gods hadn’t worked it’s way so far east or west.

His ingredients are (more or less) 2 ¼ cups milk, 6 eggs, 3 tbsp. honey and a dash of black pepper to sprinkle on top after the eggs, milk and honey have been mixed and heated over a low flame until stiff.

To update this for celebration 3 May (shoutout to @foodimentary) we’re trying to create a vegan modern Roman chocolate pudding with a few less calories (real, marketing name to-be-determined), in case somehow someone walks in the door asking for that? So far:

Ingredients

    • 2 cups almond milk
    • ¼ cup agave
    • 1 ½ cups silken tofu
    • 4 tbsp stevia
    • ½ cup cocoa powder
    • Dash of sea salt

Directions

Whisk milk and agave together, food process all ingredients together for a few beats then everything food processed and poured into an 11″x7″ pan. Pan sits in water bath to bake at 325º for 30 minutes or until tester can be inserted and then removed cleanly. (For stovetop cooking pot sits over a low to medium flame and with limited stirring the custard is never allowed to do more than simmer.) A light sprinkle of sea salt to replace Apicius’ pepper garnish.

Admittedly, with only a few hours left we’re not quite there yet. So, also in mind are inspirations for a variety of medium, such as:

Chocolate Cherry Trifle — a Nigella Lawson 12-hour, 45-minute creation (of which 30 minutes is prep and 15 of cooking) that is a chocolate custard over cherry jam pound cake (the recipe does separate out her chocolate custard recipe)

Chocolate Custard Muffins

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake — from “white couple on rice” Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Banana Tartlets with Chocolate Custard (the custard to be made a day ahead) that continues the ongoing theme of bananas and chocolate. [See earlier: Chocolate Bananas Dinner Menu Fantasy]

Anyway, enough about history and the work of others. Time to play with chocolate custard … and maybe sell something in the front of the store.

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