Thursday, May 8, 2014

Easy, Fabulous Coffee Pudding

THE LOVE OF A SON

What you are to do without me I cannot imagine. 
― George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion 


An argument with my son about the aesthetics of cemeteries had me thinking about his motivation, his intent. A mother's attempt to second guess a child's line of thinking. And led many of my readers to judge, to offer their own theories. His own fear of death, some deduced; his inability to consider the end, others conjectured. One friend seems to have seen through his hysteria and discomfort and understood one facet of what it took me a moment to understand. "For me it's about my (and your) right to have a life beyond them; to even do something they might not like and have them accept that as surely as we accepted things they have done over the years."


"My friend," son mentioned to me a few days later, his voice buzzing with enthusiasm, "told her about you and she checked out your blogs." My son talks about me, shares my news. His feverish attempts to control what I post on instagram and Facebook, my blogs, how I dress and appear in public, where and how often I am published are all designed to control and hone my image. Something he can be proud of.

Professor Higgins to Eliza, Pygmalion.

What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. 
Never lose a chance: it doesn’t come every day. 
― George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion 

Happy Mother's Day

Who am I to argue? We spend years trying to shape our children, buying them "the right" clothes, offering to help write school essays or suggesting books for them to read, correcting their grammar and urging them to be courteous, gallant and urbane. We have an image of the teen, of the adult we would love them to be, the person they should be, and gently, carefully struggle to mold them. And yes, we show them off "isn't he handsome, isn't he smart, first in his class, isn't he such a gentleman, so kind and generous." A sculptor and his statue, a painter and his masterpiece.

You see, we're all savages, more or less. We're supposed to be civilized and cultured—to know all about poetry and philosophy and art and science, and so on; but how many of us know even the meanings of these names? 
― George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion 

Yet grow up they do and the tables are turned. Now it is our turn to be watched over, judged, designed, sculpted and formed. Pride and love are funny things.

The beautiful Alessi teaspoons were a gift from my son.

EASY, FABULOUS COFFEE PUDDING (EGGLESS & GLUTEN FREE)

If left in the refrigerator to chill and set overnight, the sugary sweetness will mellow.

2 cups total liquid: * approximately 1 ½ cups (400 ml) blend cream (heavy, light or half and half) + milk (whole or lowfat) + ½ cup prepared strong coffee - at least 1/4 cup of the total liquid should be strong, prepared coffee

2 Tbs (10 g) cornstarch
Pinch salt (scant 1/8 tsp)
¼ cup (50 g) granulated light brown or white sugar
1 tsp instant espresso powder

Have 8 espresso/demitasse (or 4 pudding dishes) cups ready.

Measure out the cream and milk in a medium-sized saucepan (too large a saucepan and your liquid will be too shallow and it will cook too quickly). Bring up to a simmer – just under a boil, as it begins to steam and tiny bubbles will begin to form around the edges of the liquid) – over low heat.

As the milk and cream are heating, whisk the cornstarch, salt, sugar and espresso powder together in a bowl; add the liquid coffee and whisk until the dry ingredients are dissolved and there are no lumps.

As soon as the cream/milk comes to the boiling point (to a simmer), whisk in the coffee mixture. Continue cooking – and whisking – over low heat until soft bubbles appear. Allow the mixture to boil, whisking, for 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and pour the pudding into a heatproof/Pyrex measuring cup with a lip. Carefully divide among the demitasse or serving cups. Cover each with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and set.


Serve topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa powder.


23 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A beautiful dessert! These puddings look irresistible. I love the flavor of coffee.

Interesting thoughts. Yes, the wheel turns definitely turns and the roles are starting to get inversed...

Cheers,

Rosa

Jennifer Field said...

I wonder what dreams my mom had for me? If she had any, she never told me. Maybe she is still waiting to see what I will do...? Relationships between parents and children can be so complicated. Pudding definitely helps. :)

Sherron Watson said...

Great post Jamie. I love your thoughts on this part of parenting. As I am in the midst of sending my two older kiddos off into the sunset of life, I find myself having to sculpt and mold my advice, comments, encouragements et al...with the hope that I survive this stage of mommyhood. The tables are starting to turn and I just hope that I have taught them enough. Then I wonder was my enough good enough...LOL

Have a great day!

Sherron Watson said...

Great post Jamie. I love your thoughts on this part of parenting. As I am in the midst of sending my two older kiddos off into the sunset of life, I find myself having to sculpt and mold my advice, comments, encouragements et al...with the hope that I survive this stage of mommyhood. The tables are starting to turn and I just hope that I have taught them enough. Then I wonder was my enough good enough...LOL

Have a great day!

Janet FCTC said...

This looks delicious! My 19 year old son loves anything coffee flavored so I know he'd love this!

Stephanie Kordan said...

Lovely post. As a mother of three children, my son is fourteen, my oldest, I do wonder what it will be like when he grows up (he's already taller than me at 5'11") and tables turn. To shape our children, years spent mothering, only to let go and observe them as they become. I've pondered, who will I become after I've mothered, and how does motherhood shape us? Then the coffee pudding! Marvelous.

Betsy @ Desserts Required said...

Pride and love are funny things, indeed. Great post and recipe.

Karin@yumandmore said...

Ain't always easy is it? I experience some of the same things you are describing with my son. A pride and sadness that he is growing up so quickly and that the tables are turning as you say. Sigh.... Your delicious pudding will definitely bring comfort. ;D

Jill Colonna said...

Jamie, it's fascinating to hear your views on parenting when your children are older. It's hard. I found myself telling my eldest this morning, who's 14, "well, I don't know; I never went to Mum school." Terrible response. As a perfectionist, I find it harder to sculpt them, especially with so much distraction at bay for them with the internet. The other day, mine said, "You're cool but why can't you be like the other mums in my class? None of them are on instagram or twitter. You can see everything." I wish I could!

Love this dessert, especially handy to have up your sleeve when the cupboard is bare. And it's a great carrot for my youngest, who loves coffee puddings.

Jamie said...

@Jill I have to say it is easier now that they are past their teens then during those terrible 14-18 years. I have calmed down immeasurably since then and can find some amusement in my son's rantings. I'd go nuts if it didn't balance out with the rest - knowing he is proud of what I do (now). But both my sons harangue me about my use (too often, too much, too personal, NEVER tag me) of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Stacy Rushton said...

I can so relate to this, Jamie! I get little messages from my daughters all the time with posts and articles I should read, questioning tenets I've held dear (The elder one finally got me to give up the double space after a period - Dear God, that one was HARD!) and challenging me to move more quickly into their more enlightened age. For my part, I defend my position when it is defendable but am also ready to concede when they make the stronger argument, as are they. It delights me that we can have these discussions.

I love those little Alessi teaspoons! My daughters introduced me to Alessi when the elder one was coveting the teapot with the little bird on the spout. She saved her pennies until she could buy one of her own. How did we raise children with such a wonderful appreciation of aesthetics? They enlarge my world on a regular basis!

And speaking of the importance of aesthetics and beautiful things, those are fabulous cups of coffee pudding! Just gorgeous!

El said...

Yum. It looks amazing!

Rosemary Nardone said...

Looks wonderful I love anything with coffee and making it yourself is the best way to enjoy! Hope your Mother's Day is fabulous!!!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

Oh dear, I just read Stacy's comment about the double space at tne end of a sentence. I STILL do that. Maybe I'm too old to change? (I went back and took the double space out)

My children are both grown with children of their own and all you can do is your best and hope they are happy. Successful would be good too but happy is much more important to me.

Pudding is a good thing to share.

Simones Kitchen said...

I always love your insights Jamie. Not having kids of my own I've always wondered what my parents thought were. We did ga nod don't have a relationship that is as close as yours so it's a guessing game really.
I do love the look of this dessert!

Denise said...

I remember you posting about the cemetery, and I instantly thought of myself. I am intrigued with old cemeteries as well as churches. When in Europe, I could lose myself for hours, wandering them, taking photos and just wondering. I do the same in churches, and if there are nuns around, I go even a bit more crazy; this actually makes Lenny uncomfortable, and he walks the opposite way. There is just so much history and intrigue ....

Barbara Bakes said...

Beautiful desserts. Now that my mom is gone I look back and see more of myself in her. I'm sure it will be the same for your son and he'll like what he sees.

Barbara Bakes said...

Beautiful desserts. Now that my mom is gone I look back and see more of myself in her. I'm sure it will be the same for your son and he'll like what he sees.

Rambling Tart said...

Pride and love ARE funny things, Jamie. :-) Life gets so very topsy turvy sometimes. The puddings look creamy and wonderful.

Lisa said...

Ah, opinions stated more bluntly and often, authoritative statements,all indicative of adulthood ripening, slowly but surely. But, they'll always be your babies, especially when you serve them pudding, because isn't pudding the ultimate comfort food of childhood? The adult twist of coffee jibes perfectly with your story. Not a coffee lover, but I do like it in some desserts, like pudding! BTW, one of the moderation words is rectal. WTH?

Nuts about food said...

So true what you write, it really made me stop and think about the parent-child relationship and how it evolves over the years...

Terra said...

Gorgeous!!!! So much coffee love! Love this recipe, and that you used espresso! Yum, Hugs, Terra

Bromley home cleaners said...

Ohh, give that pudding to me! It looks beautiful and sooooo delicious! I'm a coffee freak, so I'm trying this ASAP!

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