Cold, Cold, Cold.

Eek! Everything’s disappearing! The vegetarian toaster pastries, my wondrous home-made chocolate brownie, all those miniature chocolate bars I pocketed at Christmas dos, even the lemon curd I made back in December. Gone! And all in the last two days.

I blame the weather. Quite frankly, the older I get, the more I think I was built for hibernation. When it’s too cold to walk without snot frosting hard to your nostrils, you know that you shouldn’t be out. And when you’re stuck inside at home, what else is there to do but sleep, cook and eat? If there’s a better way to pass a chilly day than leaning above a hot gas stove, dozily melting pots of chocolate, then I have yet to find it…

However, forced as I am to go out and earn a living (bleurgh), pudding-eating also has a practical purpose. With weather like this I need padding, goddamnit. Sugar-filled padding round the waist and hips. Not only does it keep me warm, but when I inevitably hit the ice, my bum-bones will be solidly protected. And that’s as it should be.

If we take the holistic/Hog-listic approach, stockpiling puddings is also incredibly good for the soul when times are otherwise bleak. On Tuesday, the thought of finishing the last of the brownie, hot with a large scoop of ice cream, was what kept me powering through: like a large invisible carrot (cake?) dangling on a stick above my head all afternoon.

Anyway, I’m guessing you don’t really need me to extol the merits of pudding right now. You’re reading this blog, after all: I assume we already have pud-love in common.

Instead, here are three things that I’m going to use to get me through this cold spell:

1) Home-made Marshmallows. I’ve bought the Agar Agar and sugar. Now all I need is some glucose and a thermometer.

2) Salt Caramel Sauces. All of a sudden I seem to have four jars worth. A tasting test is imminent.

3) Brownie Experimentation. Following the huge success of my first effort, I’ll be trying my hand at some devilish white chocolate blondies.

If all goes to plan, at some point I might even bring all three together. On the coldest, iciest, darkest day, maybe. That ought to get me out of bed.

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