Dark Chocolate Pudding
It’s hot. Too hot to bake. Frankly, if I can’t make it on the grill or stovetop these days, or eat it cold, I want nothing to do with it.
You know what’s worth turning your stove on for? This chocolate pudding.
I originally found this recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours (which, by the way, is a wonderful cookbook that you should own. No, Dorie is not paying me to say that.) The recipe itself is fairly standard but the method ventures into untraditional territory. Dorie’s method involves blending the pudding twice in a food processor for a smooth pudding with a lighter velvety texture.
I tried Dorie’s method. I’ll be honest here – it was messy and kind of a pain, and I didn’t notice a big difference in the texture of the finished pudding. However, the flavor is outstanding. It’s rich and deeply chocolate flavored, not unlike a chocolate pastry cream. It instantly became my favorite pudding based on flavor alone.
If you don’t have a food processor, fear not! I love this pudding so much I’ve made it several times and have adapted an alternate, more traditional (read: less messy) cooking method that skips the food processor. I’m certain that if you love chocolate, you’ll love this pudding no matter which cooking method you use!
While you could eat this pudding warm out of the pot (what, like you don’t do that too?), on hot summer days it’s best cold and creamy straight from the fridge with a dollop of whipped cream. Not cold enough for you? Pour the pudding into shot glasses, paper cups or popsicle molds and freeze for homemade fudge pops!
Or, you could come back next week and see what other cold treat I’ve made with my favorite pudding…
Dark Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours
Any kind of milk will work, from 1% through whole, so use whatever you prefer. I like using a dark cocoa powder, such as Hershey’s Special Dark, for extra dark chocolate flavor but regular unsweetened cocoa powder can be substituted. Warning: this recipe was a tight fit in my 7-cup food processor! If you choose the food processor method, I recommend using a 9-cup size or larger.
2 1/4 cups milk, divided
1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
5 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and melted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
Whipped Cream Ingredients
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set aside six 4 to 6 ounce ramekins, glasses, or pudding cups.
Prepare pudding according to your chosen method below (with or without food processor). Divide among 6 ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. In the metal bowl of a stand mixer combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Using the wire whisk attachment, whip to stiff peaks. Dollop on top of pudding and serve.
Alternately, pudding can be divided among popsicle molds and frozen to make pudding pops.
Food Processor Method
Measure 2 cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Split vanilla bean length-wise, scrape out seeds with the back of your knife and add to saucepan. Bring to just before a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.
While the milk heats, pulse cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a food processor until blended. Dump out onto a piece of wax paper. Put remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar, egg and egg yolks in food processor and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup of milk and pulse. Add dry ingredients and pulse again.
With the food processor running, slowly and carefully pour in the hot milk mixture. Pulse a few times, then pour back into saucepan. Whisk continuously over medium heat until mixture thickens, usually 2-5 minutes.
Scrape the pudding back into the food processor and pulse a few times. Add melted chocolate and butter pieces. Pulse until smooth.
No Food Processor Method
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, 3 tablespoons sugar and corn starch. Whisk in 1/4 cup milk.
In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate for 1 minute on High. Stir thoroughly. If needed, continue heating on High in 15 second increments, stirring thoroughly between each, until chocolate has melted.
In saucepan, whisk together 2 cups milk, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cocoa powder and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until just before boiling. Scoop out 1/4 – 1/2 cup of milk mixture and slowly pour into egg mixture while whisking briskly to temper (avoid cooking) the eggs. Whisk egg mixture back into pudding in pot, and continue cooking and whisking until pudding thickens. Remove from heat. Pour through a mesh strained to ensure smooth pudding. Whisk in butter, vanilla and melted chocolate.