The other day I was on the elliptical machine at the gym and a woman started running on the treadmill in front of me and it took all my effort to not laugh out loud at her running form. I’m sure I run like an idiot, too, but it just reminded me of that episode of Friends where we all discover that Phoebe runs like a maniac. Then I got to thinking about TV shows that have really stood the test of time. You can reference a scene in Friends or Seinfeld and most people will still know what you’re talking about, even a decade later. That’s excellent writing! Those shows are still in syndication all the time. It seems like now TV networks are so quick to cancel shows in the first season before they’ve been given time to develop a fan base. I wonder if any of the shows that are the air now will end up having as big of an impact on popular culture as Friends or Seinfeld, or if the networks are so concerned about immediate numbers and profits that we won’t remember any entertainment from the 2010s. I think The Office is a good contender but that show was on for a long time.
What show could you watch over and over again?
Taste: Like your favorite childhood flavors and textures but a little more grown-up. The sweetness is tamed by the bittersweet chocolate in the pudding filling.
Texture: Crunchy, thick, rich, luscious, gooey, toasted. I just love the texture of the chocolate pudding filling.
Ease: This recipe does require some work and a little baking know-how but it’s nothing unmanageable.
Appearance: So cute! I love individual tarts.
Pros: Fun and delicious dessert. I did use low-fat milk in the pudding but this is still a fairly indulgent treat.
Cons: The completely assembled tarts don’t keep well and should be served right after finishing.
Would I make this again? Yes. If you wanted more of a s’mores flavor you could use graham crackers instead of Oreos too.
How to make Chocolate Pudding & Toasted Marshmallow Tarts
Yield: 5 (4 1/2-inch) tarts
22 Oreo cookies
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup boiling water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups low fat milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray 5 (4 1/2-inch) tart pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In the bowl of a food processor pulse the Oreo cookies until finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until incorporated. Divide the crust mixture among the tart pans and press into the bottom and up the sides of each pan. Bake for 8 minutes, or until the crust is set. Let cool completely.
For the filling:
Combine the water and gelatin in a measuring cup or small bowl. Stir until dissolved.
In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually add the milk, whisking until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the vanilla and the gelatin mixture. Divide the pudding between the prepared tart pans and chill in the refrigerator until set, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
For the topping:
In a small saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 240°F on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly drizzle the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form and the mixture is no longer hot, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of beating.
Spoon the marshmallow crème among the chilled tarts. With a kitchen torch, lightly toast the marshmallow. Serve.
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