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« Black Tea Cake with Honey Buttercream | Main | Hot Cocoa Popsicles »

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

I was raised on chocolate and pudding cups. In my family, it was an after dinner ritual to pull out the pudding whenever dessert was on the menu. Warm or cold, pudding cups were a part of my childhood routine. My mother always bought the packs with vanilla and chocolate because they came in volume packs, but the rest of my family thought it was silly—no one liked the vanilla cups. My father and I would always scramble to grab the chocolate ones before anyone else and my poor mother was left with the vanilla. In fact, I am not sure my mother ever had the opportunity to claim a chocolate cup as her own.

Nowadays, even though there seems to be a countless number of flavored puddings and custards, I always come back to good old-fashioned chocolate. Sometimes you just should not mess with an original.

Chocolate Pudding

There is a special pudding-eating spoon sitting in my kitchen drawer. Long and skinny, it was the smallest spoon we had in the house growing up (and I have since carried it with me into my own apartment). I adore this spoon for its small size and prefer to eat my favorite foods with it. The narrow curve holds very little, which means that I get to draw out the satisfaction of eating much longer. This proves doubly so when it comes to pudding.

Since I was young, I have liked to mix a few Cheerios into my chocolate pudding whenever they were in the cupboard. The cheerios absorb a bit of the bold chocolate flavor, but keep their firmness, resulting in the greatest bowl of cheerios a small child (or grown woman) can experience. My family would look at me strangely, too uncertain of the combination to try it themselves. Back then I assured them they were missing out (and I do the same today).

Chocolate Pudding

My ideal chocolate pudding is a little rich, with a very pronounced chocolate flavor from two sources—cocoa powder and a little melted chocolate. The real secret to this recipe is the addition of salt and vanilla extract. Both of these ingredients provide a contrasting flavor to the sweet chocolate, and the combination of the three takes the flavor of the pudding from one-dimensional to downright delicious.

This chocolate pudding may be simple, but simplicity is often just what we need.

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding is surprisingly easy to make, and takes only fifteen minutes to whip up from start to finish. The pudding is thickened with a combination of cornstarch and egg yolks, which gives it a real custard-like quality. A mixture of cocoa powder and melted chocolate lends a proper chocolate touch, while whole milk lends the pudding a rich and creamy flavor. Two-percent milk is a great alternative for a less rich pudding, but I would not use a milk lower in fat or the pudding may lose a little of its magic.

One Year Ago: Rosemary Focaccia
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Chocolate Pudding

Yields 6 1/2-cup servings

3 cups (710 ml) whole or 2% milk, divided
1/3 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces (85 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk with the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. When well blended, whisk in the egg yolks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups of milk to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently as to not scorch the bottom. As soon as milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Gradually whisk in egg mixture, stirring quickly to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring until pudding thickens enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon, about 3-5 minutes or more.

Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until the pudding is smooth and completely melted. If there are any small lumps, you may optionally run the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove them. Stir in vanilla extract.

Serve the pudding warm or cold, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream. The pudding will thicken up quite a bit when cooled.

Reader Comments (21)

Love! Such beautiful pictures too. I don't know whether to thank you or not for making chocolate pudding this easy to make. Can be dangerous!
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Vanilla Bean
I love corn flakes in my pudding when i was younger, but now i like to take a few poached pears with my dark puddings. I used to take pudding cups to school, my guilty pleasure now. Lovely photography. Thank you for bringing me back to childhood.
I know what i'm doing today!
02.17.2013 | Unregistered Commenterkristin m
Gorgeous! I will have to make this serve it twice - cold *and* warm - since I can't decide which is better!
This pudding looks so creamy and rich. I remember the days of eating jell-o pudding cups. My favorite was the vanilla pudding with a thick dark chocolate pudding topping. That was the best thing ever :)
Salt does absolute wonders for a chocolate pudding. And congratulations on getting featured over on Cup of Jo!
You're crushing it.
02.17.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
My family was the exact same! Pudding cups were a staple, but nowadays I much prefer the homemade stuff. This recipe is lovely!
You just can't beat homemade pudding!
I love the way you make the pudding and using the 2% milk is a great idea. I never liked pudding made with cream or half and half, it was so rich that I didn't enjoy the flavors.
I will surely try this one for my upcoming Spring Lunch for my lady friends
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I am thrilled that you have a specific spoon that you like to use for your favorite foods! I, too, have specific utensils for specific foods and all my friends think I'm so weird! I'm glad to have found someone else with the same particularity =)
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAllyson
This post is glorious. I love all the details. Your blog header is amazing, I love the teacup/ coffee stains, its so pretty, and the quote on this post about Goldilocks is brilliant, this is such a lovely blog, it shows you have a creative eye for detailxx
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaprika
I've just discovered your blog and I'm so sad I didn't start reading sooner! Your photography is beautiful and your recipes inspiring. Keep it up.
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheFlyingOne
Your posts and pictures are beautiful and whimsical at the same time. I love it, truly inspiring.
02.18.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRosie
Loved this post! But part of what I loved about it was your "pudding spoon"...because I share that mindset on eating it. I don't have an old favorite, but I DO have a cup that holds my baby spoons...real baby spoons, from Walmart! I enjoy eating puddings and ice cream and lots more goodies with them, so that I can stretch out those moments of pleasure. Ahhhhh!
02.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusieQ
MMMM yum! Never mess with an original... I'll watch next vampire diaries with this pudding! ;)
02.19.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSue
I've just made these right after I saw the recipe, I came out GREAT! Thank you for another amazing recipe :)
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterShamini
Looks absolutely delicious! I would so love to try some.
02.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSpencer
I have tried this twice and it will not thicken! What gives??
02.21.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLexie
Lexie-- I am guessing that you are not allowing it enough time to thicken. Depending on the pot, stove, etc, it can sometimes take longer than the time I suggested to thicken the pudding. You may need to thicken it for 10 or even 15 minutes if you are using a smaller pot or lower temperature on the stove. You can just throw the pudding back on the stove, thicken it up, and it should turn out just fine. Sometimes you just need to be patient (which can be so hard, I know!).

(f you are really worried about it thickening, you can throw in another tablespoon of cornstarch)
02.21.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Wow, this truly celebrates chocolate in it's purity! Absolutely fabulous!
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGourmantine

My pudding wouldn't thicken either, so I got upset and turned it to high heat to figure out a way to make it thicken. Once it got hot, it thickened like crazy!
05.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAya

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