Have fun at your next party by offering a prize to the guest who figures out the main ingredient in this dessert.
Use organic ingredients if at all possible to avoid pesticides and the growth hormones and antibiotics added to non-organic dairy.
1 Acorn Squash (pick the size that best fits the number of portions you want to prepare)
2/3 cup “Alaska” brand, non-dairy, dark chocolate syrup
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons dark rum or a fine cognac (optionable)
• Wash acorn squash with liquid Castile soap and cold water rinse;
• place on a cutting board (preferably wood, so it doesn’t skid) with squash on its side;
• very carefully, cut it in half from its stem to narrow bottom with a large, sharp knife;
• scoop out and discard seeds;
• place acorn squash with skin up and flesh down, the halves side-by-side, into a large enough pot to hold enough water to cover the squash;
• cover and cook on high heat until water starts to boil, then turn heat down and simmer;
• stick a fork into the thickest parts from time to time to check if squash is soft enough—but don’t overcook because you don’t want the skin to fall apart;
• when it’s cooked, scoop halves out of the water and place on plate to cool;
• when cool enough to handle, scoop squash out of its skin and into a big bowl;
• mash well with a potato masher (or fork, but that is harder);
• stir in chocolate syrup—add more if you prefer to make pudding a darker brown;
• put cranberries into a strainer and lower into the hot water in which you cooked the squash—but only for a couple of seconds to plump them up a bit;
• add cranberries to squash;
• whip up heavy cream—no need to add sugar, since the chocolate syrup is quite sweet;
• gently, fold ½ cup of whipped cream into the ‘pudding,’ and use the rest to top each serving—you may put a cranberry on top of the whipped cream dollops for a touch of color;
• refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve.