Friday, April 22, 2005

SHF: Molasses – Indian Pudding

Extremely jetlagged after my seventeen-hour flight to my parents’ house in Virginia, I turned on the computer and read blogs to keep awake. And what do you know? It’s time for another Sugar High Friday. The theme is molasses, and it’s hosted by Derrick of An Obsession with Food . Then I realized that the deadline is this Friday, meaning I only had one day to think of what to make (relying on internet entirely, since I didn’t bring any of my cookbooks home), and to make it in alien territory (my mom hardly ever makes dessert and has a very chaotic way of organizing her things so ingredients are never where you’d expect them. Just now I found curry powder nestled among a variety of flour and sugar).

But molasses, how can I say no to molasses? It's one of those things that I loved when I was a kid in China but never learned its proper name until I'm an adult (I used to call it burned sugar or something to that effect). In fact, one of my favorite Japanese desserts is very soft mochi pieces coated in bean powder, eaten drenched in molasses. See, I would’ve loved to try to make that if I were back in my own kitchen in Tokyo, but here in Virginia, I wouldn’t know where to find half the ingredients. A quick survey of mom’s pantry later, I am resigned to the fact that besides vanilla extract and cinnamon powder, both of which I bought on my last trip home, there is not much in the dessert-making department. Simple has to do then, so I found this extremely easy recipe for Indian pudding on the internet . I’ve never heard of an Indian pudding before let alone eaten one, but I was instantly sold on the corn meal and molasses combination. Preparation was minimal so all there was left was waiting for it to cook for two hours in the oven.

While baking, it didn’t fill the house with any irresistible aroma and when I peaked inside the oven, it was as if an angry swamp was heaving up and down with each release of hot air. Hmmm, I wonder how it’s going to turn out.

When it was set and cooked, it looked just as ugly and I am not sure what kind of doneness is expected. Mine is a kind of semi solid that reminded me greatly of pumpkin pie filling in both taste and texture when it was hot. Although I would’ve preferred if the molasses flavor shone through more, I did enjoy it. The taste, however, deteriorated after it’s cooled down and was not very pleasant to eat at all cold, even with raspberry vanilla frozen yogurt. It’s really disappointing (the pudding, not molasses) to tell you the truth, and I almost didn’t enter it for SHF, for it’s certainly not worthy. But hey, I already made it in my jet-lagged state and hopefully someone can tell me if it sounds even remotely like what an Indian pudding is supposed to taste like?


Tea said...

Sorry to hear that the pudding didn't meet your expectations, but maybe it was as you said and was due to jet lag. The plating looks nice anyway. ^^ I'm surprised to hear you ate molasses in China though. I didn't think it would be used in much of the cooking. I think the only time I had molasses in anything was when eating a gingerbread cookie. >_<;

Nic said...

Lynn - I almost made indian pudding after I scoured the internet for molasses recipes for SHF. It sounds like it was interesting, though I can't say that I have any idea how it was supposed to turn out. I'd love to know if you find a recipe for the molasses you had as a child.

Hsin said...

Hey there. Haven't been round here much recently - apologies! Am impressed. Jet-lagged and in foreign territory, and yet you managed to pull an entry into SHF. You are indeed amazing.

Hope you and your parents get to spend some real quality time together. And yes, shop, shop, shop!

Lynn said...

Nic and Tea, I actually can't remember what I had as a child, but I do remember the distinct molasses taste. Isn't it funny how our brains remember things?

Hsin, you know me so well. But I am pacing myself, I am here for a month after all. Don't wanna run out of luggage space in the first week ;o)

bilbo said...

hey lynn.
sorry to read about your indian pudding. I've never heard of one. I guess its another recipe like the mango lassi. Never heard of in india but ppl in manhattan go gaga over it.
As an aside. I am in tokyo too. maybe we cud get in touch.
Take care

Lynn said...

You mean mango lassi is not authentically Indian??!

You in Tokyo too? Maybe we could do something together when I get back.

Anonymous said...

so many quick recipes on that too...and looks like everythings free so hey why not!