Chocolate Pudding: My go-to recipe made simpler

When it comes to chocolate pudding, I’m faithful to my recipe from Baking From My Home to Yours. I’ve been making it — and loving it — for many years, but this year, I changed it! Instead of melting the chocolate ahead of time, I just chopped it and added it to the hot pudding. Know what? It worked perfectly and I had one less bowl to clean.

A word on the chocolate for the puddings: Use great chocolate! You can’t make a good pudding from mediocre chocolate – there’s no place for the chocolate to hide in this dessert where it’s the front-and-center ingredient. I like bittersweet chocolate, so I used Valrhona Manjari. If you prefer a somewhat less assertive chocolate, go for semisweet.

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Makes 6 servings
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Bring 2 cups of the milk and 3 tablespoons of the sugar to the boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.

While the milk is heating, toss the cocoa, cornstarch and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to blend; turn the dry ingredients out onto a sheet of wax paper. Place the egg, yolks and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in the bowl and process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining 1/4 cup milk. Process for a few seconds, return the dry ingredients to the bowl and pulse, just until blended.

With the machine running, slowly pour in the hot milk, processing to blend. The mixture will be foamy, but the bubbles will disappear when the pudding is cooked. Return the mixture to the saucepan, set the pan over medium-high heat and, stirring without stop, cook for about 2 minutes, or until the pudding thickens and one bubble rises to the surface – the pudding should not boil. Scrape the pudding into the processor, add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is evenly blended.

Pour the pudding into six 1/2-cup bowls. If you don’t want a skin to form on the tops of the puddings, press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of each pudding. (As you can see, I let the skin the form – we like it that way chez us.)

Chill for at least 4 hours before serving plain or topped with heavy cream, whipped or not.