Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Vatkattu Suklaa Puuro (Whipped Chocolate Porridge)

Our local ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) program runs a series of classes called "Super Saturdays" where one Saturday morning per month you and your kiddos can come and learn about a specific topic. We attended the November (Dinosaurs) and December (Bears) classes. It runs for an hour and a half, starting with free play time (it runs in one of the preschool rooms at our local primary school), circle time, story time, art/craft projects related to the topic (painting/coloring/paper crafts/playdoh/floam/sand table/etc), then we meet again for circle time songs, stories, and the goodbye song. The kids love it and it gives us all a chance to play in a 'new' environment, meet new friends, and mostly just have fun!

When we left the November class, it was chilly outside and there were snowflakes in the air. (The date was November 19th, and we got our first few inches of snow for the season that afternoon/evening. It didn't last long before it melted, and our ground is still bare...just a few days before Christmas!) It was lunch time and the kids wanted Cream of Wheat. Sounded great for a chilly day! While in Finland last year I learned how to make Vatkattu Puolukka Puuro (Whipped Lingonberry Porridge). It is basically farina (Cream of Wheat) cooked in water that has been boiled with lingonberries (the berry skins can be left in, or strained out-I usually strain them out for a smoother texture). Sugar is added, it is cooled, and then it is whipped. Lingonberries aren't readily available for me, so I use cranberries instead (vatkattu karpalo puuro-whipped cranberry porridge), or blueberries (vatkattu mustikka puuro-whipped blueberry porridge). Our family loves either version. Sometimes we'll add vanilla yogurt to the top...yummm.... I tried making this with strawberries once, and it just didn't give it a bold enough flavor. Next summer I want to try making it with raspberries from our garden. Next time I make a berry version, I will get that recipe up for you.

Anyways...back to our cold November day. Rather than make plain or berry porridge...I decided to experiment with cocoa. We L.O.V.E. chocolate. I worked a little magic and Vatkattu Suklaa Puuro (whipped chocolate porridge) was 'invented'. Although we fell in love with it, I wouldn't serve it for lunch again (or breakfast...or dinner...). It was dessert. I'm sad that my hubby didn't get to try it (he works on Saturdays) but my daughter was just asking for 'chocolate purro' the other day, so it will appear on our table in the near future.

Are you ready for the recipe? It makes about 2-3 servings (was the perfect amount for two kids and myself) but can easily be doubled.

Vatkattu Suklaa Puuro / Whipped Chocolate Porridge

2 Cups Water or Milk (or a combination of both)
1/3 Cup Cream of Wheat/Farina
1/3 Cup Baking Cocoa
1/3 Cup Sugar
6-8 Large Marshmallows or 1 heaping Cup of Mini Marshmallows

Bring water or milk to a boil. Over medium heat, whisk in the Cream of Wheat/Farina. Simmer 2-3 minutes, until thickened (stirring frequently). Reduce heat to low. Stir in cocoa and sugar. Add marshmallows, stir, then let sit for a couple minutes so the marshmallows can melt. Remove from heat. With a hand mixer, beat for 3-5 minutes (use the whisk beaters if you have them). Serve with a nice cold glass of milk. Enjoy!


To double the recipe after trying it using the measurements above and loving it so much that 2-3 servings just isn't enough for the next time use these measurements:

4 Cups Water or Milk (or a combination of both)
2/3 Cup Cream of Wheat/Farina
2/3 Cup Baking Cocoa
2/3 Cup Sugar
12-16 Large Marshmallows or 2 heaping Cups of Mini Marshmallows

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