Alice Medrich's simple low fat chocolate pudding and a Joconde imprime /entremets which is not!

T is convinced that I am obsessed with Alice Medrich. It's true- I am! It all began very innocently. I needed a quick baking fix and so made this batch of cocoa brownies which took about 20 mins to make, with really simple ingredients. Then there was this Mocha tart- again simple to make, but a decadent chocolate experience. Since then Alice has become my chocolate Guru. 

My favourite thing to eat these days is pudding. Warm, uncomplicated, familiar like a good friend, pudding. So the first thing I made out of Alice Medrich's gorgeous Chocolate and the art of low fat desserts is this pastry cream or chocolate pudding which is rich and sinfully decadent although it has no cream, no butter or other naughty ingredients- and gets its rich chocolate flavor from Cocoa powder!
I added some Baileys ( yes my other current obsession) as well as some coffee powder and was thrilled with the results. But you can skip that or add your own variations- like orange essence and a shot of triple sec maybe?

Chocolate- Coffee Pudding with Baileys 
Recipe Source- Vanilla Pastry Cream from Chocolate and the art of low fat desserts by Alice Medrich
Ingredients  ( Makes 1-1/3 cups)
  • 3 tbsp sugar + 1/4 cup sugar ( skip the 1/4 sugar to make vanilla pastry cream)
  • 4 tsp flour
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup low fat ( 1%) milk
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cocoa ( skip to make vanilla pastry cream) I used Ghiradellis Natural cocoa
  • Optional ( not part of original recipe but I think totally ooomphed it even more)
  • 2 tbsp Baileys Irish cream
  • 1 tsp instant coffee powder
  • Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch in a bowl
  • Add egg and egg yolk to the bowl and beat with a hand held mixture until the mixture is pale and thick (1 to 2 mins) Keep aside
  • Add the cocoa ( and coffee powder if using) and all the sugar with about 1/4 cup of the milk in a saucepan and make a paste with it making sure no lumps of cocoa remain. Now pour the rest of the milk and stir well.
  •  Heat the milk and cocoa mixture in a medium saucepan on medium flame until the edges start to bubble ( Scalding)
  • Pour hot milk gradually over the egg mixture whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from becoming scrambled
  • Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat stirring and reaching all corners and sides of the pan until it begins to thicken.
  • Continue to cook and whisk for 30 to 45 seconds
  • Whisk in the vanilla and Baileys if using.
  • Pour into little bowls and serve or cover keep in fridge to chill. If you don't like a thick "skin" to appear over the custard, then cover the surface of the pudding pressing cling wrap over the surface.
One spoonful of this and you will swoon! Silky, chocolatey decadence- minus the fuss, or the guilt!
If you aren't yet obsessed with Alice, you soon will be. I was elated to hear about her chocolate patiserries here in the Bay area and then heart broken to hear that they were no longer open. So now my mission is to collect every single cook book she ever wrote and will, because she is pure genius and coaxes tremendous flavour out of very simple ingredients and that my friends, this magpie appreciates very much.

It can be eaten as is, or poured over ice cream or strawberries, into tarts or used as cake, napolean or eclair filling. Yes I see your eyes sparkle at the many possibilites! So did mine and I decided to use it as my filling of choice for my first ever Daring Bakers Challenge

I was so excited to be participating for the very first time, especially when I read about the challenge, posted by Astheroshe from the Blog, accro for a breathtakingly beautiful Joconde Entremets. It would be such a learning experience I had thought starry eyed. It was.

I learned:
1. That a joconde imprime (French Baking term) is a decorative design baked into a light sponge cake providing an elegant finish to desserts/torts/entremets/ formed in ring molds. A joconde batter is used because it bakes into a moist, flexible cake. The cake batter may be tinted or marbleized for a further decorative effect.
2. That wax paper and parchment paper are not the same thing. No matter what the guy at Target says.Stay away from wax paper. It will burn and melt and smoke and do crazy things over a temperature of 250 F.
3. That I can turn off the smoke detector with  the end of a  long spoon

Suffice to say my joconde was a tremendous flop- it cracked ( probably from being over baked)
and then the filling leaked out so it looked like this:

I feel embarassed and wretched and have been in a foul mood for the last two days. Especially after seeing the beautifully perfect creations the other Daring Bakers made. Look at Ria's dreamy Moca Bavarian cream Gateux  for example and Happy Cook created prefect beauties with here obedient joconde too.
Seeing these compared to my big flop only made me feel more determined and so I actually tried again. But this time the cake was too soft/ underbaked and wouldn't come off the baking sheet at all! Expletives were used and I may even have cried a little.Joconde imprime- I concede defeat. I won't be attempting you again. Unless maybe the third time is the charm?Hmmm no. Not for some time anyway! The wounds to my hurt pride have to heal :(
The only thing that can cheer me is the delicious cocoa pudding which we licked clean. An the best part? It only takes about 10 mins to make, and even less to finish off!

Recipe for the Joconde if you are daring enough is here I used the half recipe found here
Am sending this decadent yet not sinfully so chocolate pudding to the Kitchen of love blogging event as well as What's cooking today

On that note, don't forget to send in your entries by tomorrow to the Kerala Kitchen blogging event featuring dishes inspired by Kerala


  1. I am sorry you had such a difficult time with your Joconde. But,it is great you tried it! Astheroshe had a great challenge here.

    Thanks for including it in KOL! It is my first entry! :)

  2. Hi ,first time to ur looks superb nd yummy dishes glad to follow u dear!

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