TWD! And, again, first I am all excited that I may chose a recipe and catch up at least with one of the many recipes I missed because I joined the group too late. And, also again, I end up in complete despair because - give me options and see me panic! How can I decide for a recipe when there are so many?
I won't bother you with the different approaches I tried out to narrow the choices. Let's just say that after hours and hours and hours of reflection and deliberation I picked a recipe that was always tempting to me and one which always made me a bit sad that the group just made it directly before I started TWD: The Split-Level Pudding. It was originally due for October 6th 2009 and chosen by Garrett of Flavor of Vanilla. You can find the recipe on his page or in Dorie's book on pages 384- 385.
You may see no point why this should be a very christmasy recipe, but in fact... uhm... I guess it isn't. Except that I had not made something creamy for a long time and was longing for trying this pudding also for a long time. So it's like a little present for myself :o]
I mostly followed the directions but made some variations. Between the ganache layer and the vanilla pudding I sprinkled some chopped moisty dried plums. I added some vanilla sugar to the pudding to make it even more vanillier (I don't think this word really exists...), and some almond and rum flavour. Usually I would just use dark rum, but one of my colleagues is pregnant and I want to take the pudding to work, so, no alcohol!.
Then I topped the vanilla layer with some white chocolate ganache. In the pictures you can't really see the difference between these two layers. I merely made it to get a thicker, harder top because I wanted to sprinkle some crumbs (left-overs from the cardamom crumb cake last week) as the top-layer and thought the pudding might make them too soggy. So in the end I had a chocolate ganache-plum-vanilla-white chocolate ganache-streusel-pudding. And I loved it!
And if you haven't already - do this recipe!