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Nice fire, good wine, great food

Posted by Sheryl Julian  February 15, 2010 05:36 PM

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I cooked over the weekend with Suzanne Lombardi, who used to work with me when I wrote and styled the Boston Globe Sunday magazine food column. She brought this outstanding onion pizza, which she cut into long strips and served with parsnip soup.

She also made fish cakes and beautiful arugula salad. I was the dessert girl. I made these two chocolate numbers from Alice Medrich's "Pure Dessert" book. In the little square is a dreamy chocolate pudding that doesn't quite set, so it's saucy. The cake is something Medrich got from Claudia Roden, a flourless chocolate torte made with ground almonds and chopped chocolate folded into a meringue. 

Alice Medrich's chocolate pudding
Serves 8

2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 pinches salt
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1. In a heavy bowl with a fork, beat the eggs. Set the bowl near the stove.
2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Pour about 1/3 cup of milk into the pan and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the remaining milk.
3. Over medium heat, cook the milk mixture, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until it begins to bubble around the edges. Let it simmer gently for 2 minutes, sweeping the bottom and sides of the pan to avoid scorching. Remove from the heat.
4. Ladle about 1 cup of the hot mixture gradually over the eggs, beating the eggs constantly to prevent scrambling. Scrape the egg mixture into the pan and whisk well.
5. Set the pan over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Do not let the mixture boil. 
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. Divide the pudding among six 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins. Set on a tray and chill for several hours before serving. Adapted from "Pure Dessert"

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

The Recipe Box Project:

If you want to contribute a recipe to The Recipe Box Project, please write it below. Also tell us where you got it (package box, cookbook, mom, friend -- include the name). We're looking for the kinds of dishes that people grew up on, that were served at family suppers, that tell a story, that are typically New England, or that you brought with you from a far away place to New England. We will print one of the recipes in the Food section once a month. To ask any questions, write to Debra Samuels, who is overseeing this project, at To discuss your recipes, click here.