My mom and I have the same Lori Longbotham cookbook Luscious Chocolate Desserts and we're both working our way through the entire thing. She beat me to the Chocolate Pudding recipe in here, and then told me I had to make it. What a surprise, another Longbotham winning recipe. Here's how my mom described to me the awesomeness of this chocolate pudding:
"I served this to Dad and he had one bite and then said he wanted a cup of it every day for the rest of his life. Now when I serve it to him, his face lights up and he exclaims, 'Oh boy!'"There's just one distinction I want to make: Dad wants it every day, but it's no everyday chocolate pudding.
It's a double chocolate pudding made with dark chocolate and cocoa powder. In my first crack at it, I used a 3.5-ounce bar of Valrhona semisweet and a few more dark chocolate pareils to top the weight off at 4 ounces. I am adding this recipe to my repertoire, and I'll continue to try different chocolate brands since the pudding spotlights whatever you choose. Valrhona worked beautifully. Perhaps El Rey next...
I love the easiness of this recipe. All of the ingredients are basics you'd already have at home. It takes about 15 minutes total to put together, and then you refrigerate it in custard cups or ramekins. That means you can make it ahead and have an easy dessert for a dinner party, or individual servings for yourself after long days at work. As Lori Longbotham notes in the margin of her recipe, you can add a liqueur or flavoring to the pudding and it becomes a whole new treasure. I look forward to trying Grand Marnier, Bailey's, and mint extract.
My Dad's Favorite Chocolate Pudding
Recipe by Lori Longbotham in Luscious Chocolate Desserts
Note: I inserted "Dad's" into Lori's title for the pudding
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt with a fork in a large heavy saucepan until the brown sugar is broken up and the mixture is well blended. Add 1 cup of the milk and the chocolate and heat over medium heat, whisking, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Whisk in the remaining 1 cup milk and cook, whisking frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes, until large bubbles pop on the surface and the pudding is thick and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, then immediately transfer the pudding to a large bowl or 4 serving bowls or stemmed glasses.
Serve the pudding hot, warm, at room temperature, or chilled. If not serving immediately, whisk occasionally to keep a skin from forming as it cools.
Step-by-Step in Pictures
Combine the sugars, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt...
Mix until the brown sugar is no longer clumpy...
Add half the milk and all the chocolate...
Once the mixture is smooth, add the remaining milk and let bubble and thicken...
Remove from heat and add the vanilla...
Immediately pour into custard cups and cover the surface of the pudding so a skin doesn't form...