Cocoa & Mint Baked Semolina Pudding
Would anyone care for an after-dinner mint? How very 1970's you might say... although I am pretty sure no one would turn this particular one down! Whipped together on a whim, a sudden frenzied need and desire for something sweet after dinner, this simple semolina pudding has all the makings of a new favorite of mine!
Maybe it is because I was born in England, but I love the combination of chocolate and mint in any way, shape or form... and not only in the form of those delectable little nibbles! This was literally stirred-together in 5 minutes, baked for 10... and I have to admit, eaten in probably as little as 3! Just joking there! Because this was a little healthy and delicious treat that needed to be savored... and so I did!
I began by boiling milk and sweetening it with Stevia- you can obviously use sugar if you wish and adding a generous amount of mint syrup- which turns it a wonderfully vivid shade of green! Of course this is a processed product, but it is a classic Summer beverage in Italy as well as being an ingredient often used for cocktails. In any case... for this dessert- it is the way to go!
Once the milk is boiling, stir in the semolina powder until it begins to thicken, then remove from the heat. Beat it rapidly with a wooden spoon- at least that is the way I like to get it going at first, so that you can make sure to get down into the edges of the pan and avoid any lumps from forming.
At this point add the cocoa- I used a dark, bitter cocoa for mine and this was when I turned to using the whisk! I stirred it in well and added a little more milk, then returned it to the heat and kept stirring until it was a nice, smooth mixture. I added a pat of butter, a little cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg and poured it into my little ramekin, ready for the oven. In it went for 10 minutes at 250°F... that was all it took!
If you bake it for longer, it will actually set, but I wanted to have a nice, rich and creamy texture to spoon up and enjoy warm! I added a few sprinkles of chocolate on top, which of course promptly melted and became shiny and so pretty! And the flavor of course of the chocolate and mint was just perfect- I am just regretting now that I didn't make more, so that I could tell you how good this tastes cold on the next day... drat! Oh well- I guess I shall have to make it again real soon!