Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Split Level Pudding (TWD)

I'm back... after a month long haitus, I ready to get my blogging mojo on! September was an action-packed month for me, with various mini-vacations, classes and time with friends and family. Where do I begin...

- The hubs and I decided to do a series of mini-trips instead of one long vacation. The hubs attended a week long conference in Vegas at the Bellagio, so of course I had to tag along. Pool, spa, gambling, shopping, and tasty dining was on the agenda --- this girl definitely enjoys her time in Vegas, baby! We then trekked down south to San Diego to visit friends (thanks Lisa & Howie for your oustanding hospitality), then finished the road trip at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point.

- The SIL and her boyfriend were kind enough fly in from Jersey to house and puppy sit for us, and we were fortunate to spend time together before and after the trip...thanks Mel & Tom...you guys are welcome anytime!!!

- I started a 10 week digital photography course at UCLA. The more I learn, the more I realize how much I DON'T about using my camera! My classmates are great and our instructor, George, has great passion for his art and his enthusiasm is infectious. I'm not sure that you'll see an improvement in my photos, but at least I'll know how the camera gear works!

- We capped the month with a trip up to Pismo Beach for the wedding of our dear friends, Teresa & Jim. I've been really gun-shy about sharing this... I had the priviledge of making their wedding cake and cupcakes. This was the first time I baked at this scale, and the experience was fun, exciting, and anxiety-filled! Once I get my hands on some pictures, I'll definitely share them with you.

Anyways, I'm happy to get back in the rhythm of blogging...

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie recipe, Split Level Pudding, was a perfect way to ease back into my baking routine. Simple and comforting, this recipe consists of a chocolate ganache base topped with a rich vanilla pudding. To be just a little decadent, I used vanilla bean paste instead of extract. I love seeing those beautiful vanilla specks in the pudding:

Dorie's recipe calls for the use of a food processor. Although it can get messy tranferring the mixture back and forth from the saucepan to the processor, you are rewarded with a pudding that has a wonderfully silky smooth texture. This technique was previously used with her chocolate pudding recipe, and I was blown away by the results.

Once you dig into the silky smooth vanilla pudding, you get a wonderful chocolate surprise:

The base is a soft chocolate ganache, and I ended up using a delicious Baileys chocolate ganache leftover from the wedding cake/cupcakes.

You can find the complete recipe at Garrett's blog, Flavor of Vanilla. Also make sure to visit the TWD blogroll to see more delicious versions of this pudding.

16 comments:

Tracey said...

Welcome back! Your photos are already pretty amazing so I can't imagine how great they'll be after your photography class :) Your pudding looks perfect and I'm jealous of your soft ganache. Congrats on making the wedding cake for your friend - I can't wait to see photos!

chocolatechic said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous vacation.

Your pudding looks good too.

Engineer Baker said...

Bailey's chocolate ganache - yum! And promise you'll let us know how the photography class goes - I'm so jealous, and wish there was one near me too.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

welcome back! sounds like a great, and very busy, break. and your back in style with some beautiful pictures! mmm....baileys!

sherri said...

The split level looks decadent!

Q_Monroe said...

so glad you're back! i've been checking every day. gorgeous photos. can't wait to see what you did for the wedding.

Ingrid said...

Welcome back!

As usual your photos are stellar! Be sure to pass along any helpful camera tips you learn for those of us who really need it!

Looking for to your wedding cake and cupcake photos.
~ingrid

Dolce said...

Chocolate. Sweet. Pudding. *sigh* [drooling induced]... !

Eliana said...

Your pudding looks absolutely amazing!!!

Valerina said...

Your pudding came out perfectly! I love the contrast between the two layers.

Welcome back! :)

The Food Librarian said...

Welcome back Linda! This looks great! The class sounds great too. Is it back on campus? Ahhh...nothing like the pretty buildings on campus (once you finally find a parking space that is!) - mary

Mary Jo said...

great photos! can't wait to hear more and see pics from the wedding.

TeaLady said...

Your photos are going to be fantastic when you finish the class. Course they are good now.

Like the pudding. Looks tasty.

Michele said...

Your pudding looks just stunning. I love your photos!

Jennifer said...

Looks like you've had an awesome month!!!! Your pudding looks delicious!!!!!

pinkstripes said...

It sounds like you had an awesome month! Welcome back. Your pudding looks wonderful.

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