Spice up your Derby party with Virginia Willis’ recipe made with bourbon cream

Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Bourbon Cream from Virginia Willis

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Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Bourbon Cream from Virginia Willis

Is your Kentucky Derby party menu finalized? You might want to make room for this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Bourbon Cream from Atlantan and James Beard Award winner Virginia Willis.

Willis will whip up the dish as part of Taste of Derby, a culinary event in Louisville, Kentucky tomorrow night to help kick off Derby weekend. She'll join top chefs from across the country to cook for the dinner, which also raises money for hunger organizations.

If you can't make it to Churchill Downs, kick your party up a notch with this and other Derby recipes, or celebrate at one of these metro Atlanta restaurants.

Sometimes Mama would make chocolate pudding after school, and my sister and I would watch her measure and prepare the ingredients, combine everything, and then cook until the dark mixture would suddenly thicken. She’d pour the molten chocolate pudding into those glass cups with thick ruffled edges and let us swipe our little fingers against the side of the pan to get every last bit. 

The stereotype of Appalachia—a region that stretches from the southern tip of New York to northern Mississippi—is a mountainous area sparsely populated by poor whites. But there has always been a lot more to that region—including a well-established Mexican community. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the region. One wonderful and unique Mexican treat is Mexican chocolate, enhanced with spices such as cinnamon and cayenne, which my friend and colleague, chef Anthony Lamas of Seviche in Louisville, Kentucky, calls “truly a one-of-a-kind chocolate.” Although I’ll always love the chocolate pudding of my childhood, in homage to the Latin influences in the region, I’ve kicked up the flavor of these decidedly adult pudding cups with a bit of spice and heat to go along with the Kentucky bourbon cream. 

Reprinted with permission from "SECRETS OF THE SOUTHERN TABLE" by Virginia Willis © 2018. Photographs © 2018 by Angie Mosier. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. For more information, please visit www.virginiawillis.com.

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