Chocolate Amaranth Pudding + Thermador Steamy Soiree
If you follow me on twitter you might have been wondering what I was up to this past week. I was lucky enough to be invited to Thermador’s latest blogger event, Steamy Soiree, which took place in my home state of Arizona. Let me tell you, it was a blast. I thoroughly enjoyed not only hanging out with a group of talented and lovely bloggers, but also learning about Thermador’s innovative products and who they are. If you don’t know who Thermador is, check out their website where you can learn about the company’s history as a leader in the luxury appliance business (cool fact – Julia Child purchased Thermador appliances for her PBS cooking series).
Thermador put us up at the gorgeous Scottsdale Hyatt Recency. After checking into my room I wandered around, soaking up the beauty of the place.
After dining out at BLT Steak and getting a good night’s rest we started a jam-packed day of eating, learning and testing Thermador’s appliances, and eating some more.
The big event of the day was Thermador’s unveiling (literally) of their latest appliance, The Ultimate Culinary Center.
|I’m on the left end in the striped shirt – looking like a dork! Photo via Sandy|
This bad boy has six (!) gas burners which are star-shaped for better flame coverage with gourmet settings such as extra-low or extra-high. It has a big electric griddle/grill perfect for making breakfast or grilling up meat. It has a convection oven AND a steam/convection oven. And a warmer drawer. This one unit has everything you need to prepare pretty much any recipe you could imagine – and to prepare it with ease.
The oven even has a built-in probe so you can register the temperature of your roast easily. Plus, with a true convection fan you can get your meal in and out in no time.
The steam oven, Thermador’s latest and greatest technology, goes way beyond just steaming vegetables. It produces fresh breads with gorgeous crusts like those from French bakeries. It yields roasts with juicy, tender meat. You can even use it like a microwave to reheat leftovers – but they won’t taste well, like leftovers. They’ll taste like they did when you first made it. The unit is stunning, jaw-dropping in fact. Even the doors have that soft-close feature (like Ikea furniture).
So what’s the catch? Well it costs $14,000. But hey, it’s a luxury appliance. You get what you pay for – remarkable innovation, gorgeous design, and ease in the kitchen. I dream of the day when I’ll be able to afford to deck out my kitchen with Thermador appliances. Until then I’ll live vicariously through Maria & Jaden, two bloggers who are having their kitchens outfitted by Thermador.
After drooling over all the Thermador appliances and even getting to try a few out, we headed back to the hotel for some rest, dinner, and fun time.
|Irvin, me, Anne, and Maria (who is expecting her first child!). Photo from Maria|
I loved meeting so many other food bloggers and really being able to talk and hang out. Everyone was so lovely – I already miss them all! I’d like to thank Thermador for inviting me to participate in this event, it was wonderful. I’d also like to applaud Thermador for realizing that the food blogging community is not only fantastically talented but powerful. There aren’t many companies out there that currently dedicate as much resource to outreach via bloggers and I believe Thermador is a pioneer in that respect (along with their pioneering technologies!).
*Disclaimer: Thermador generously compensated my travel, lodging, and meals for this event. However, all thoughts and opinions on this post are my own.
One of Thermador’s resident culinary experts, Chef Brad, happens to be a grain aficionado. During a little lecture and demo on his favorite grains, he showed us one named amaranth. I had never heard of it before but was fascinated when he explained that amaranth is a nutritional powerhouse and can even be popped like popcorn. Coincidentally, when I was at the local health-foods grocery store after the event I found a bulk bin full of amaranth. I scooped some up and headed home where I found this recipe for chocolate pudding online.
Amaranth is one of the few grains on the planet that is considered a complete protein – meaning it contains each of the 9 amino acids. Amaranth is high in protein and contains fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C. Amaranth is nutritionally superior to wheat (and easier to digest) and has even been known to lower cholesterol. All that basically means amaranth makes your body very, very happy. This recipe also happens to contain additional supplies of calcium, vitamins E, D, and B12. And it doesn’t even taste healthy. It tastes like creamy chocolate.
Taste: You can’t quite taste the cinnamon, chile, or salt in this recipe but it adds a noticeable roundness that enhances the chocolate flavor beautifully.
Texture: Cooked amaranth is unlike most things I’ve tasted – fluffy yet toothsome and slightly similar to quinoa. Overall the pudding is rich, creamy, and filling.
Ease: The pudding takes a little time before it can be eaten but doesn’t involve anything difficult.
Appearance: Kind of like an adorable lumpy chocolate pudding.
Pros: Full of nutrients and flavor, would be perfect for kids. Who would have thought any chocolate pudding could be so healthful?
Would I make this again? Yes.
Chocolate Amaranth Pudding
Adapted from Alison Ashton via Nourish Network
- 3 cups almond milk
- 1 cup amaranth
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- Chopped walnuts, for garnish
Whisk together first 5 ingredients and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook 25-30 minutes, uncovered and stirring frequently, until the amaranth is tender. Be careful not to let the milk boil over.
Whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and eggs. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot amaranth mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, to temper the eggs. Slowly whisk egg mixture into amaranth mixture in the pan. Cook 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Gradually add the chocolate, stirring until it melts.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Carefully set the pan into the ice bath and let the pudding cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (pudding will continue to thicken as it chills). Serve garnished with chopped walnuts for added crunch.