It was 75 degrees in DC yesterday. I took a jog down to the National Mall to the Lincoln Memorial and back. Then I sat out on my back deck in my swim suit, read Glamour, and ate lunch in the sun. In the afternoon, I went over to a friend’s apartment, and we sat up on the roof of the building drinking beer. Unfortunately, this amazing weather is not here to stay just yet. I think we have to go back to winter for a few more weeks until I can really have spring and summer.
But since we got just a little taste of summer, I got to thinking about the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. Well, to be fair, the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten was probably in Buenos Aires, Argentina. But the best ice cream I’ve eaten in the United States was at a cute little shop in Old Town Alexandria, VA, down by the waterfront. The flavor: Orange Chocolate. It’s like those weird balls of chocolate that are orange flavored and come in segments. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Anyway, this ice cream is amazing. It’s the only flavor I ever want to order when I go there. I used to live in Alexandria, so I got to eat this great ice cream pretty frequently. But now it’s a good 45 minutes to get out there, so I haven’t had it in a really long time.
But then I got to thinking that I could make orange chocolate pudding, and it would probably be very similar! I just took a chocolate pudding recipe I already knew I liked, and incorporated orange zest to give it that extra punch. Plus, orange zest sugar smells amazing. I want to use it in everything I make. But that would be gross. Instead, I’ll just play with my sugar and make shapes with it.
Orange Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 3 servings
1/4 cup sugar
zest from half an orange (about 1 tbsp)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/16 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest half an orange into ¼ cup sugar. With a fork, mash zest into sugar until well incorporated.
Combine orange sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy sauce pan. Slowly whisk in the milk. Heat over low heat, scraping the bottom and sides occasionally with a heat proof spatula. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form.
When mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (10-15 minutes), add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2-4 minutes, until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Strain pudding through a fine-mesh strainer (I didn’t actually do this, but that meant my pudding had pieces of zest in it, which wasn’t the best texture. I would recommend straining.) Pour pudding into three half-cup ramekins, or whatever serving dishes you are using.
Cover each dish with plastic wrap. If you don’t like skin on your pudding, be sure to press the plastic wrap against the top of the pudding. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to 3 days.