Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life This Week: October 10, 1938

Do you ever feel like you really really don't want to deal with rolling anything out? Yeah, it totally happens. However, I adore chocolate and orange (and the cute 1938 ad below), so I decided to make a super-easy chocolate-orange stovetop custard instead.

Chocolate-Orange Custard

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
finely grated zest from 1/2 an orange
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, grated
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg, orange zest and grated chocolate. Place saucepan over low heat and gradually whisk in the milk, whisking well after each addition. Continue whisking until mixture boils, then boil 1 minute, still whisking.

Remove saucepan from heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Cool a bit then divide between four cups. Chill.

Serves 4

Adapted from "Chocolate Pudding" in Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book (Minneapolis: Macmillan and General Mills, 1950), 219.

Download printable copy

 As usual, the article in Life contains spoilers. Have you seen Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion? It's absolutely amazing. I've already mentioned my affection for Jean Gabin movies, but this film also stars Eric von Stroheim, Pierre Fresnay and Marcel Dalio, which makes it even more awesome. Having taken a French films class, I know that many paragraphs have been written praising and analyzing this movie, so I'll leave all that to the experts and just provide some screen caps. Somehow, this group of French officers (and Erich von Stroheim, as a German officer) manage to look really spiffy while at a POW camp during World War I. Who wouldn't love all the monocles, scarves and pipes? If you love a man in uniform...

I watched the Criterion collection DVD--there is a good amount of bonus material and it has a no-subtitles option. I found von Stroheim, Fresnay and Dalio easy to understand. Jean Gabin has rougher pronunciation (his character is meant to be working class), but I didn't have too many problems. My German isn't quite up to scratch, but there's not much of it in the film and it's frequently basic and/or translated into French.

My screen caps, publicity shot of Erich von Stroheim from Doctor Macro

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  1. Yes, I've seen "La Grande Illusion." I agree, it's a masterpiece.

    Criterion is simply the best!

  2. That chocolate custard looks delicious... I just love the combination of chocolate and orange, can't go wrong! I've also seen La Grande Illusion, I have to say it's not my favourite Renoir but I enjoyed it. And indeed, men in uniform! :D

  3. alissa@33shadesofgreenOctober 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Hi Lauren - Thanks so much for linking up your custard. It sounds really delicious. The combination of orange and chocolate is so good, but I hardly ever have it!

  4. I don't use this word often, but I am today - LUSCIOUS!

  5. First time visitor -- loove your site! Coming from Totally Tasty Tuesday -- can't wait to try the stovetop custard. The orange/chocolate combination is so good!

  6. Chocolate and orange custard sounds fabulous!

  7. That sounds great - chocolate and orange is such a good combination! Thanks for sharing at Crazy Sweet Tuesday.:)

  8. Your chocolate and orange custard looks even better in the brown transferware. Gotta love the ad!

  9. I totally understand about not wanting to roll out dough. Great idea to turn the pie into pudding cups! Love the ad, especially the part about pleasing the "menfolk" with chocolate dessert.

  10. Am intrigued by the photo top left - is that some kind of Hammond organ in your house? I love your food photos so much, at first I thought this was a picture contemporaneous (if that is the right word) with the recipe! I love this kind of odd juxtaposition.

    When I was a teenager in Essex (in the UK) "luscious" was one of those words that was like a catch-phrase for lazy teens. Everything was luscious or lush. It drove my mum mad.

  11. It's actually a Story & Clark, but it is most definitely a mid-century electric organ. And, even better, it only has one volume--loud. Paul found it for me at a garage sale while riding his bike home from class when we were at the University of Oklahoma. The former owner agreed to include delivery in the $40 price tag because they thought it didn't work. Paul cleaned it out and got it working again (except for the volume control).

    "Odd juxtaposition"--that's pretty much this blog all over. :-)

  12. My manfolk was satisfied. That pie sure is a marriage-saver! ;-)

  13. Kirsten @Msuski LovesOctober 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    YUM! Thanks for linking up at Mushki Love! I will be making this very soon! I am following you now!

    Have a great day!

  14. Love GRAND ILLUSION, love chocolate pie. What could be bad?
    I'm always heartbroken at the end of G.I. but maybe a bite of chocolate pie will sooth my aching soul. What a brilliant movie!

    I am especially fond of Pierre Fresnay's character.

  15. Love your custard in a tea cup! Especially on your organ...great photo.

  16. I'm not sure whether I like Pierre Fresnay's character or Erich von Stroheim's character the best. And I think Jean Gabin is so cute.

  17. Oh, yeah, pie crust is my nemesis! So your chocolate orange custard is a much easier, yet still tasty, dessert~

  18. Very interesting old advertising for that dessert. You find the best movies too.


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