Spicy machica cocoa baked pudding

baked pudding

The other week I bought some machica at the Super Tropical Food Market. I’ve been thinking about what to do with it ever since. What is machica, you ask? Well, it’s toasted barley flour. The machica that I bought is from Ecuador, and according to my extensive research, when it’s at home it’s used to thicken hot drinks. I saw several recipes for machica hot chocolate, that sounded very nice. And then I was browsing through Mrs. Beeton’s Everyday Cooking. (There’s such strange stuff in there! So matter-of-factly presented! It’s irresistible.) She has a recipe for baked puddings made with very finely ground grains! Including barley! The idea of combining Ecuadorian machica and a recipe of Mrs Beetons seemed like the best kind of fusion cooking, so I gave it a go. I decided to flavor it with dark cocoa powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I didn’t want to overwhelm the subtle flavor of toasted barley, but I thought it might be pleasant to fashion it after spiced cocoa thickened with Machica. The resulting pudding was very tasty. The texture is comforting, and it has a nice balance of tastes, with the toasted barley-flavor subtle but distinct.

Here’s Miles Davis with Tasty Pudding.
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