Chocolate Pudding From Dorie Greenspan

download2 1/4 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Bring 2 cups of the milk and 3 tablespoons of the sugar to the boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

While the milk is heating, toss the cocoa, cornstarch and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend; turn the dry ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper.  Place the egg, yolks and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in the bowl and process for 1 minute.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining 1/4 cup milk.  Process for a few seconds, return the dry ingredients to the bowl and pulse, just until blended.

With the machine running, slowly pour in the hot milk, processing to blend.  The mixture will be foamy, but the bubbles will disappear when the pudding is cooked.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, set the pan over medium-high heat and, stirring without stop, cook for about 2 minutes, or until the pudding thickens and one bubble rises to the surface – the pudding should not boil.  Scrape the pudding into the processor, add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is evenly blended.

Pour the pudding into six 1/2-cup bowls.  If you don’t want a skin to form on the tops of the puddings, press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of each pudding.  (As you can see, I let the skin the form – we like it that way chez us.)

Chill for at least 4 hours before serving plain or topped with heavy cream, whipped or not.  Makes 6 servings

Grandma Carlough’s Midnight Cake (or cupcakes, or bundt cake, or…) from Liz McGowen

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1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup hot water
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix first 4 ingredients; mix in rest of dry ingredients; add vanilla to hot water and mix into other ingredients.  Bake in 8″ round cake pans or pour into cupcakes, or bundt pan.  Check with toothpick after 25 minutes.  Delicious, rich, moist, versatile batter – passed down through generations!  I use a mixmaster.  Makes the perfect birthday cake!

Red, White, and Blue Berry Trifle from Martha Stewart

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1.5 pounds raspberries (5 cups)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
10 ounces mascarpone  (1 1/3 cups)
1 1/4 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fine salt
20 to 24 ladyfingers (from a 7-ounce package), broken into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound blueberries (2 1/2 cups)

In a medium bowl, combine raspberries with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar and orange juice. With the back of a fork, lightly mash berries to release their juices and let sit 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together mascarpone and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Whisk in cream,vanilla, and pinch of salt and whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes.

Cut one or two pieces parchment 1 inch taller than side of an 8-inch springform pan and line inside of pan. Place half the ladyfingers in pan and top with half the raspberry mixture. With a small offset or rubber spatula, spread half the whipped cream over berries. Tap pan gently on counter to remove air bubbles. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, raspberry mixture, and whipped cream.

Top with blueberries and refrigerate until whipped cream is stiff and cookies have softened, about 3 hours (or, tightly covered with plastic, up to 3 days). To serve, unmold trifle and peel away parchment.