Some days, I am just clear empty. On what to make, frantically juggling each week's menus, acquiring the ingredients for those (so that my family doesn't starve) and trying to sync it with appealing, blogworthy recipes. All this, combined with the energy (supersized) to further stage and photograph the same sometimes seem way out of my mind's reach. Where even marathon viewing of FoodTV can take me nowhere in my food vision, and my inclination level to just get up and do is zero. In the wake of those moments, life tends to get seriously exhausting and quite frankly, very dull.
And then there are days like today. When my mind is revived and races for words to describe the flavor experiences of a new discovery. The instance my fingers can't wait to be at this same keyboard typing away, after an inspiring and enterprising day at my kitchen counter. Oh, beautiful day!
Stumbling upon this delicious, delightful discovery (my 8 year old's expansive vocab after trying one bite of this good as gold find), is agreeably one of the best happenings of the week, thus far for me and and here it's being tossed to you. Brace yourself and behold, you are in the presence of greatness.
A search was taking place too, an undertaking to well resource my need to eat sweet, and not just of the ho-hum-cookie-candy bar variety. Maybe a fudge tart? Love it, but this time I wanted different, new to mine and the family's tastebuds, and uncommon to everyday dessert nosh. With a popular Kerala news website's cooking edition providing me the goods, respite came, delivering those goods in step upon step of awesomeness. Orange peach pudding was ready to be found.
The pudding comes from a rarefied breed of stylishly elegant, yet surprisingly uncomplicated sweet fares. It is dessert done right, although laden with creamy custard and a glug of cream, the whole thing is surprisingly light.
Having an almost similar take on the trifle and other layered puddings it is one of those cake, custard and cream inventions that may singlehandedly be the most refreshing and compelling things you ever put in your mouth.
Another best about it? A premade cake, whether by you or a nearby bakery, shortcuts the pudding prep and multiple textured assembly, breaking in through all of 30 minutes.
An additional note to those of you from my part of the world- by that I mean the Kerala, India one (since I've adapted so many patches of the world as "my own") scroll down to the recipe adaptation line, and if you're a fan of the Kerala movie industry (which I proudly am) you will see the name of Kunchacko Boban, popular actor, heartful sweet eyed hero, and darling of the Mallu big screen. Whether it is the one or random same name person who happened to submit a recipe, thus baffling fools like me, I know not. What I do know and choose to believe, is if in all possibility it is the same Kunchacko, how cool indeed, that to add along to his acting resume, he possesses some marvelous culinary skills, to boot. Which makes me a fan of his brilliant self all the more. Thank you, Chackochen.
Recipe adapted from Kunchako Boban, via Malayalam Manorama online
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 c heavy whipping cream
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp gelatin
- 1 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp orange juice
- 1 15 oz. can sliced peaches in juice, cut into ½" pieces
- ½ c sugar
- ½ c water
- ½ " piece ginger, slightly crushed
- ¼ c juice from the canned peaches
- 2 tbsp rum
- 1 premade sponge cake, cut horizontally through the middle, making 2 pieces of cake
- 1 ½ c heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 4.5 oz can mandarin oranges or 1 fresh orange, peeled and segmented
- Over, medium flame in a double boiler combine condensed milk, cream and egg. Whisk continuously until thickened to custard consistence, when thermometer registers 170° F.
- Sprinkle gelatin over water, stir until it dissolves and add to custard mixture. Keep aside to let cool.
- Stir in the orange juice and cut up peach pieces and combine well with the custard.
- In a separate sauce pan over medium high heat, melt sugar in water. Add the ginger piece.
- Boil sugar/water and bring it to a light syrup consistency, about 3 minutes. Let cool a bit.
- Take out the ginger piece.
- Pour in rum and reserved juice from peaches and mix well.
- Poke holes with a fork or skewer along top of cake layers, piercing all the way to the bottom.
- Place first layer of sponge onto a glass dish large enough to accommodate the length and breadth of cake. It could be cut up to perfectly fill and line the bottom of the dish.
- Sprinkle ½ of the sugar syrup over the cake, allowing it to go through and be absorbed in the cake.
- Pour ½ the custard mixture over the first cake layer and top with the second layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining syrup- soak and custard.
- In the stand mixer, place cream and beat on high, about 3-4 minutes until soft peaks form. Spoon in the sugar and beat until incorporated.
- Spread the cream over the final layer of custard.
- Drain the mandarin oranges and arrange over the assembled pudding. Likewise if using fresh oranges, make sure sure of no seeds and place on top the cream layer.
- Allow to cool in the refrigerator and serve well chilled.
Though I've liberally adapted from the method of ingredient components, I did restyle this, here and there. Like using sponge cake instead of tea cake and slicing it into two for multiple layers and replacing Tang for orange juice, (making it a teensy healthier). I gustoed up regular sugar syrup with the ginger/ rum and peach juice. And with the word orange in the pudding, how could I not open my can of mandarin oranges? Which also served right in beautifying my final, fluffy top
Substitute rum with rum extract or omit altogether.
Working through to the end of this post, I have happily eaten away my fourth serving of orange peach pudding. I guess I'll just have to welcome in tomorrow with some serious quality time... hello Mr. Treadmill!