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Sunday, Dec. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


Soothe the soul with pudding

January is here: hooray for it! \nIn January, you do not need to charm or entertain. You do not need to put on a performance. All you have to do is appear, sit in your required seat, listen or not listen, smile or not smile. The sheer relief of January quiet is enough to make anyone turn to pudding.\nAnd turn to pudding is exactly what I do: bread pudding and stirred pudding most often, but even a ready-made cup of pudding when time is short. Elaborate foods may be just the thing when a person is in tip-top fighting form, but in this month of renewal, most people would be much better off with a dish of pudding to revive the spirit.\nAwhile back, when I was feeling low, a friend invited me over to her apartment, plunked me in a chair with a cup of tea and a copy of Mademoiselle magazine and told me to sit still until she was ready for me.\nI sipped and browsed while she created some magic in the kitchen. When she finally called for me, I was presented with a glorious dish of bread pudding and a big spoon. I did not know that I wanted bread pudding, but somehow she knew it was exactly what I needed.\nOnce I felt fit enough to make it myself, I asked her for the recipe. It could not be easier and is worth sharing. It starts with pudding mix, but with a little bit of tinkering is transformed into the most wonderful form of edible therapy. My chocolate intensity pudding with cinnamon whipped cream follows a similar formula and yields equally delicious and consoling results.\nPudding is a simple luxury. Unlike foie gras with blackberry gastrique or egg and basil roulade with yellow tomato coulis, you do not need to "understand" pudding. You just eat it. In a world of uncertainty, the thing about pudding is that you can count on it. There are no nasty surprises, no guesswork. Pudding cheers, fills, comforts and makes you feel, for a few fleeting moments, safe.\nAnd while I would never turn down a world-class meal at a fine restaurant, I would happily reverse my steps on a chilly January evening if someone offered me either of these spoon-wonderful puddings.\nMOCHA BREAD PUDDING

  • 5 cups milk\n
  • Two 4-serving size boxes (cook and serve) vanilla pudding mix\n
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso powder\n
  • 6 cups of bread cubes cut or torn from loaf of French or Italian-style bread (preferably day-old)\n
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 4-serving size box (cook and serve) chocolate pudding mix\n
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided\n
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips\n
  • 1 1/2 cups milk\n
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) chilled whipping cream, divided\n
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
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