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?