Treat of the Week: Chocolate Pudding

I'll bet that way back in the 80's when Bill Cosby was doing those chocolate pudding commercials he never dreamed that there would be a National Chocolate Pudding Day.  Alas, there is, and it is tomorrow.  To celebrate (sort of) I submit my cooked chocolate pudding recipe.  To be clear, this is no boxed chocolate pudding.  I have eaten plenty of that stuff in my life and I promise you it cannot compare. 

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Like so many things we tackle here, I think you will surprised at how easy this is to make... and with good results.  The hardest part is that with pudding you really have to be prepared and present for the entire process.    We have become so accustomed to purchasing instant pudding mix that many of us have forgotten how our mother or grandmother made this stuff.  The good news is you have control of what goes in the pot.  Best of all, you probably have most or all of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

I have made two variations of the same pudding here for some contrast.  The layer between is ground up chocolate cookie.  I topped it off with some fresh whipped cream, grated coffee bean, and a chocolate covered espresso bean.  Caution...it is rich and certainly not for the faint of heart.

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Because I had two flavors I layered them in a glass and chilled them, but it would have been equally good served warm on it's own or over a piece of cake.  Additionally, use this pudding for a pudding pie.  Just make and blind bake your crust and then fill with the pudding and chill.  This will absolutely take you back.  Happy Chocolate Pudding Day.  Celebrate responsibly.  

savour... smooth and creamy

Get the rest after the jump...

Chocolate Pudding

Before you start:

You will be stirring constantly once you start so it is imperative that you have all of the tools and ingredients prepared and close at hand.  Just a few seconds spent hunting something down could turn your milk or pudding into a disastrous mess.

To prevent scorching the milk, try rinsing the pan with cold water.  Dump/shake out the water just before you pour in the milk and cream.

You must pour the hot milk into the egg mixture slowly and gradually while constantly whisking or suffer a bowl of cocoa scrambled eggs.

The strainer is important for removing any small lumps that may occur.  You will hopefully end up with few to none, but better safe than sorry.  You wouldn't want to serve a lumpy pudding to a guest.

Pressing the cling wrap to the surface of the pudding while cooling will eliminate any "pudding skin".

This can be made a day or two in advance.

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You will need:

  • Knife and cutting board
  • Two heatproof bowls (I used stainless steel)
  • Two medium saucepans (heavy bottomed is best)
  • A whisk (two would be better)
  • A medium mesh strainer
  • Plastic cling wrap
  • A rubber spatula

The ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 egg yolks

2 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 ounces semisweet chocolate

2 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon butter, softened

The method:

  1. Gather your materials and ingredients.
  2. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and starch in a heatproof bowl.
  3. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk and mix well.
  4. Whisk in one egg yolk at a time.
  5. Set this mixture aside.
  6. Place heavy whipping cream and remaining milk in a saucepan.  Bring to just boiling, stirring frequently.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Slowly pour the heated milk mixture into the chocolate/egg mixture while whisking.
  9. Transfer the pudding mixture to a clean saucepan and cook over medium heat.
  10. Stir constantly until thickened (about 4 or 5 minutes).
  11. Remove from heat and pour into heatproof bowl through strainer.
  12. With a rubber spatula, stir in butter and vanilla.
  13. Equally divide the mixture into two bowls.
  14. Add 2 ounces semisweet chocolate into one bowl and 2 ounces dark chocolate into the other.
  15. Stir until well combined.
  16. Cover the pudding by pressing the plastic cling wrap right to the surface of the pudding.
  17. Cool in the refrigerator and serve.
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