I’ve had a craving for chocolate lately so tonight I’m giving in and making Chocolate Pudding using Mrs. A. S. Maires’ recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I measured four cups of milk and began warming it as I grated the unsweetened chocolate. I needed three squares to make three ounces. Once the milk was warm I added the chocolate and stirred until it was melted. I removed the pan from the heat and added the cup of sugar. I separated the eggs and beat the yolks before adding them to the cool milk mixture. I poured everything into a pudding bowl and baked at 350 degrees F. for one hour. I was unsure how long to bake it since I couldn’t tell what sort of texture to expect. There’s no flour so it won’t be like a cake but I’m assuming it will set — a bit like the filling of a chocolate pie. While the pudding baked I started beating the egg whites. I gradually added sugar (one cup). Once the pudding had baked and had a bit of solid surface I spooned the meringue on top and popped it back in the oven for another 15 minutes until the top was golden. It looked good and I was eager to taste the chocolate pudding.
Mrs. A. S. Maires remains unknown for now. I did find a 36-year-old Alfred Maires in Listowel (a community in the neighbouring county) in the 1911 census. He was a domestic servant and it shows he is married but the wife is not listed. Alfred is part of a large household headed by Joseph E Boehmer that includes a wife, four children and two male domestics and four female domestics plus seven male lodgers. Mr. Boehmer is listed as having no occupation but his wife is a dressmaker while the children work in bakeries, laundries and do odd jobs. In fact Alfred works in the laundry too. Some of the lodgers have jobs but others do not. I find this a fascinating household. When I saw the lodgers I assumed it was a hotel but I’m guessing the household operates a laundry plus takes in lodgers of various sorts. But then again I did find a reference to Joe Boehmer buying the Queens Hotel in an online book called Listowel Past and Present http://www.ourroots.ca/e/toc.aspx?id=4279 It also mentions that the Breithaupt Tannery has recently closed due to a dispute with the town. Perhaps that is the connection to the Berlin cook book since the Breithaupts also operate a tannery here.
I was anticipating a cold milk pudding when I started this so it is a little strange to be tasting something hot on a warm late summer day. In fact this is a very strange product. At the moment I’m eating/drinking a very delicious near liquid with meringue on top. I’m hoping the pudding sets as it cools as it would be impossible to serve now. Perhaps I was supposed to bake it in individual servings as I can’t imagine it will ever “bake” in the single large amount I have now. Even after an hour it is still liquid. It is important to make sure the milk is cool before adding the egg yolks as I’m discovering bits of yolk as I sample. My chocolate craving is sated for the moment but I might try making this recipe again in a smaller size. . . just not tonight.
Scald together 1 quart milk and 3 ounces of grafted [sic] chocolate and set it aside to cool, then add nearly a cup of sugar and yolks of 5 eggs, bake, and when done spread whites on top, beaten stiff with sugar and brown.