Return of the Pudding Festival

Chocolate Pudding Cakeweb

My favorite culinary event, the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival, will return this coming Sunday, September 28, in my beloved Hawley, Massachusetts, after a five-year hiatus–an even longer hiatus if you consider the fact that the most recent festival (in 2009) took place in Charlemont, not in Hawley. 

Centering around a contest, the day is a whole lot of fun.

Good food, good scenery, good music, and good company. A perfect combination.

I hope readers who can will attend this festival—and perhaps enter a pudding! Here is the schedule for the day:

11 a.m.
Puddings arrive at the Hawley Grove in East Hawley. (We ask a $15 entry fee. And please bring the recipe!)
11:15 a.m.
Free tour of nearby Sidehill Farm (a wonderful organic dairy farm, and a donor to the contest).
12:30 p.m.
Lunch. (Donation requested.)
1:30 p.m.
Pudding parade, entertainment, and announcement of the contest winner(s). Puddings will be available for tasting after the judging—although you eat at your own risk!

Here’s a pudding to get you salivating. I was going to make it on TV last week, but we ran out of time so you see it in the video but don’t watch the preparation. It’s simple, and a variation on it is a frequent entry in the contest.

To make it more local, I used Taza Chocolate. Taza is a company in Somerville, Massachusetts, that buys organic cacao beans and stone grinds them. They sent me some chocolate to play with (they also generously donated a chocolate sampler as a prize in the pudding contest) so I used their cinnamon chocolate discs to make the pudding.

The recipe as it stands here is only gently chocolaty. If you are a major chocoholic, feel free to add more chocolate.

And if you’d like more information about the Pudding Festival, visit its website.

Cinnamon Taza

Taza Chocolate Pudding Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ounce Taza chocolate (from a disc; you choose the flavor!)
2 tablespoons sweet butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons grated Taza chocolate
1 cup boiling water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Into a bowl sift 3/4 cup of the sugar with the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the milk and vanilla.

Melt the ounce of chocolate and the butter together in a double boiler. Add them to the other mixture. Pour this batter into a greased small 1-1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish.

Blend the brown sugar, the remaining white sugar, and the grated chocolate, and sprinkle them on top of the batter. Pour the water over all. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Serves 6 to 8.

pudding talkweb

I can’t leave you without a cute story. As you’ll see in the video below, I occasionally call myself the Queen of Pudding. (This distinguishes me from the winner of the Pudding Contest, who is known as the Pudding Head.)

At the end of Mass Appeal everyone was invited to eat pudding. One of the other guests took a bite, looked at me, and exclamed, “You really ARE the Queen of Pudding!”

I had to fluff up my feathers just a little. Well, maybe a lot.

Here is my video preview of the Pudding Festival. The corn pudding recipe will come soon!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_MOEL8OZjk&list=UUhrpfuBCFEPoURYVpsi4iHw[/youtube]

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4 Responses to “Return of the Pudding Festival”

  1. Flaneur says:

    It’s always good to see locally-sourced products endorsed in recipes. Your west Coast readers, equally dedicated to using local ingredients, can find terrific chocolate for puddings from Rancho Gordo, a Napa Valley supplier of heirloom beans (the only North American source of authentic Tarbais beans, used in classic cassoulet), ancient grains, ground corn products, chiles, herbs and spices, Mexican vanilla (which comes from a Mexican orchid – who knew?), and stone-ground Mexican chocolate. The chocolate “from the beautiful state of Guerrero in Mexico, a cooperative of women grow their own cacao and then harvest it, toast it on clay comales (pans) and then stone grind it with piloncillo (an unrefined sugar) and canela, the famous soft cinnamon preferred in Mexico. The results are chocolate tablets not quite like anything else you’ve had. Whether it’s for a traditional mole or just a cup of hot chocolate, the rich, dense chocolate flavor is intense, delicious and uniquely New World.” Rancho Gordo ships worldwide and has a lovely shop in the food markets at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. More at http://www.ranchogordo.com

  2. tinkyweisblat says:

    It souns pretty terrific, Flaneur. Thank you for looking out for readers on the West Coast. (I hope I have some!)

  3. Grad says:

    Pudding Hollow. I think that is one of the best and most intriguing names ever for a “place” or a “pudding festival.” I wish I could participate. Of course, my entry would have to be made with Georgia peaches and pecans. I’ll have to experiment on that score. Have a great time at the festival, Tinky! Keep the videos coming. They are delightful.

  4. tinkyweisblat says:

    Thanks, Grad! I wish you were closer; I’d love to try your peach-pecan pudding.

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