Sponsored post on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Heritage Chocolate.
Chocolate lovers, you’ve come to the right place! Here is something extra special. 18th century chocolate meets 17th century pudding.
This decadent chocolate steamed pudding celebrates the rich heritage of a beloved and traditional dessert originating in England in the 17th century and brought to colonial America.
It was my mom who introduced me to steamed puddings. It’s always been the tradition in my family for my mom to make a steamed pudding every year for Christmas and New Year’s (two different kinds and both equally amazing). She’s been making them since I was a little girl and it’s something we all look forward to every year.
Steamed puddings have been a long-held Christmas tradition in England since the 17th century and this tradition was continued by the early American settlers. The most common is plum or fig pudding, made in a special steamed pudding mold of various shapes and sizes. (Think lyrics from “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”: “Oh, bring us a figgy pudding, oh bring us a figgy pudding…”) If you’ve always wondered what on earth a “figgy pudding” is, now you know! The method for making it is similar to this chocolate pudding only the ingredients (including chopped figs) are different. Steamed puddings have traditionally been made using flour, breadcrumbs, or torn up pieces of bread.
Here is a very traditional Christmas pudding, often garnished with a sprig of holly (photo courtesy of Wikipedia). Traditionally pumped so full of brandy as a preservative, and for flavor, that the pudding would virtually last years! It is then lit on fire just before serving.
Despite their popularity for so many centuries, it’s unfortunate that, though common in the colonial days of our country, they are relatively unknown today. Yet another tradition that’s sadly been lost. I have yet to meet someone here outside my own family who has ever tried one, and most people have never heard even of them. The only “pudding” widely known today is the custard/mousse kind.
So I’ve developed this recipe in celebration of a rich heritage of steamed puddings (thus the “heritage” in the title) and have added a modern twist – chocolate! I’ve partnered, fittingly, with American Heritage Historic Chocolate to bring you a delicious, decadent dessert using the very best of the best chocolate available.
For the sentimental patriot. And for anyone who loves chocolate.
Sink your teeth into this while I tell you a little more about this historic chocolate.
American Heritage Historic Chocolate is a subsidiary of Mars. And something I never knew until a week ago is that the birthplace of Mars Chocolate is…Tacoma! The first factory from the early 20th century is in downtown Tacoma, just 20 minutes away from where I live. Now an abandoned building but with so much history behind it. I’ve always been sentimental and knowing this made me even more eager to accept the invitation to try this chocolate.
I need to emphasize that I only write about products that I personally like. And I usually don’t review them – I simply demonstrate how I use them in my recipes. But I am particularly impressed with this chocolate and want to share a few of my thoughts about it with you.
This chocolate is made from an authentic 1750’s recipe. Mildly spicy and slightly sweet, it’s flavored with a blend of spices and ingredients that were available during colonial times, such as cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, orange, chili pepper, and vanilla. It’s certified Kosher, made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives. American Heritage Chocolate is available for sale at over 130 living history museums and sites across the United States and Canada and also on their website. I’m thrilled that they’ve recreated this historic recipe in an effort to preserve a piece of our American heritage. I’ve also learned that there are a couple of living history museums right here in Washington that feature this chocolate (there’s a complete list on their website). I’m looking forward to taking my family for a visit!
Chocolate lovers, you may also be interested in this really neat, interactive History of Chocolate Timeline on American Heritage Chocolate’s website.
Here, have another slice for good measure – this time with some whipped cream sprinkled with more chocolate.
I’m really impressed with the flavor and texture of this chocolate. I pulled out another brand of chocolate from my cupboard to do a side-by-side taste comparison – a very reputable, highly acclaimed brand of dark chocolate with the same cacao content. There was no question in my mind which one came out ahead. I had three other adult members of my family try both without knowing which one they were sampling. The verdict was unanimous: American Heritage Historic Chocolate was the winner – by a long shot.
The other brand (like most dark chocolate brands I’ve sampled) had a sharp, fairly bitter, almost harsh flavor with a faint fruity aftertaste. The texture was hard and waxy. American Heritage has a smooth, almost velvety texture and a very deep, warm, even comforting flavor. And not just one flavor – the longer you let it melt on your tongue the more layers of flavor come through. I tasted – and so did my family – what seemed like a pleasant cherry-like flavor which was pronounced even in the steamed pudding. There are also warm spicy undertones – cinnamon, anise, nutmeg – that leave a slight tingly sensation in your mouth. I sampled each of their products and these flavors are consistent throughout each product. Somehow the flavor of this chocolate really is reminiscent of days gone by and for me elicits a feeling of nostalgia. Perhaps it’s those “comforting” flavor combinations that bring back memories of my mother’s kitchen, grandma’s house, childhood…home.
Not that I was born in the 18th century (though there are days I sure feel like it!), but you get the drift.
Bottom line: This dark chocolate is superb. The flavor is unique and unlike any other dark chocolate I’ve tried. Once you’ve tasted it you would recognize it again. The flavor is unmistakable. And it’s the best I’ve had.
Now, what I am a little disappointed about is that they don’t currently make a pure cocoa powder. The Chocolate Drink Powder, which is blended with sugar, says it’s also for baking (and I used it in this recipe along with their Chocolate Block) but for the sake of greater versatility, I really hope they’ll come out with a pure cocoa powder product in the near future.
Okay, the time has finally come…*drum roll*….This Daring Gourmet all-original Heritage Steamed Chocolate Pudding!
Roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!
It’s going to take a long time for the water to heat to a boil, so start heating it now in a large stock pot.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir in the American Heritage Chocolate Drink powder (or regular any other good quality cocoa powder).
Cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, vanilla and rum extracts and beat until thoroughly combined.
Melt the chocolate. I melted the chocolate over a boiling steam bath (double boiler). If you’re doing it that way you can get it started at this point. Otherwise you can hold off until the last step if you’re microwaving it.
Alternately stir in the flour and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
Ohhhh, yes…the melting chocolate is coming along beautifully…
Pour the melted chocolate into the pudding batter.
Ooooh, look at those luscious chocolatey swirls…
Now it’s time to put the batter in the pudding mold. (I know, that’s all there’s to it! So easy, right?)
You’ll need a steamed pudding mold for this recipe.
I use a pudding mold that I bought in Germany before I moved to the U.S. It holds about 1 1/2 quarts (whatever you get doesn’t have to be exact). It’s aluminum, which is preferable when it comes to anything baking-related, including this steamed pudding. Take good care of it and it will last you forever. (And I’m going to be posting more fabulous steamed pudding recipes, so you’ll make good use of it!)
Generously butter the pudding mold. Spoon the batter into the mold.
Secure the lid.
Get out a large stock pot and fill it with enough water so that it comes up to just over halfway to the pudding mold. You must avoid letting the pudding mold touch the bottom of the pot and you need to ensure the mold is standing up straight the whole time it’s boiling, otherwise you’ll end up with a lop-sided pudding (it’ll still taste just as good though!) You can either crumple up aluminum foil and set the pudding mold on top of that or, what I usually do, fold a dish towel and place it on the bottom of the pot (it’s better at keeping the mold standing straight). Bring the water to a boil, place the pudding mold inside, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Carefully remove the pudding mold from the pot and let it sit unopened for 5 minutes (I know you’re anxious to peek, but just hold on.) During that 5 minute wait prepare the chocolate glaze by combining the ingredients in a small pan, bringing it to a boil, reducing the heat to medium and simmering for 5 minutes.
Okay, you can open it now.
Invert the pudding onto a wire rack placed over a cookie sheet.
While the pudding is still warm, brush the glaze all over the pudding, then carefully transfer it to a serving plate.
Doesn’t this remind you of something out of Little Women or Anne of Green Gables (an all-time favorite)?
Now you’re just teasing me.
Steamed puddings are best served warm (reheat the pudding by pudding it back in the mold in boiling water for a few minutes – this will help it retain its moistness). Serve with your choice of whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, or even ice cream.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons American Heritage Chocolate Finely Grated Drink powder (or other good quality cocoa powder)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon rum extract
- ½ cup whole milk
- 4 ounces American Heritage Chocolate's 62% Cacao Chocolate Block, cut into chunks (or other good quality chocolate)
- For the Chocolate Glaze:
- 1 tablespoon American Heritage Finely Grated Chocolate Drink powder (or other good quality cocoa powder)
- ¼ cup white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Fill a large stock pot with enough water to cover the pudding mold just past the halfway point. Start bringing it to a boil now.
- Generously butter a steamed pudding mold.
- In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate powder.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and rum extracts and beat until thoroughly combined.
- Alternately stir in the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour.
- Melt the chocolate bar chunks (either in a double boiler or microwave). Pour the melted chocolate into the batter and stir to combine.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pudding mold and secure the lid.
- Place a dishtowel that's been folded several times in the bottom of the stock pot, positioning it with a long spoon if necessary. You must avoid letting the pudding mold touch the bottom of the pot and ensure that it remains standing straight throughout the steaming process. Do not let any water get into the mold.
- Place the pudding mold on top of the folded towel, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 1½ hours.
- Remove the pudding mold from the pot and let it sit for 5 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
- To make the glaze, combine the three ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Invert the pudding onto a wire rack positioned over a cookie sheet. While the pudding is still warm, brush the chocolate glaze all over then carefully transfer to a serving plate.
- Serve warm with whipped cream, hot fudge sauce, or ice cream.
- To reheat, place the pudding back in the mold, cover, and boil again for a few minutes until heated.