I’m not much of a chocolate guy. After a big restaurant meal, I’ll usually pass over chocolate desserts in favor of something light and fruity. If after reading that, you’re thinking I must be from another planet, rest assured, I’m human and I do get an occasional chocolate craving. Perhaps it’s my palette’s way of protesting all the chocolate that I pass up, but when the urge hits, it’s pushy and unrelenting like a sleazy guy in a bar.
This chocolate pudding is about the fastest way to douse those fiery cravings and comes together in about fifteen minutes. For those of you who are thinking that that’s fifteen minutes too long, let me describe for you the reward for your pittance of patience. The moment the thick chocolate pudding hits your tongue, it liquefies into a silky pool of rich chocolate bliss. Dark, sweet, and luscious with a hint of contrasting bitterness, this chocolate pudding is like a mainline of uncut cacao that’ll sedate even the fiercest of chocolate cravings. Unfortunately, like most good things in life, your bowl of puddin’ won’t last for long, so be warned: that this chocolate pudding is habit forming.
Connoisseurs may argue that a pot de crème is a superior way of delivering chocolate into your system, but I’d like to see someone pull off a 15 minute pot de creme. Also, while this decadent chocolate pudding is far from healthy, it’s made mostly with milk, and is set with yolks and cornstarch instead of just yolks, so it’s a little less unhealthy, right? At least that’s what I tell myself as I lift spoon after spoon of this addiction inducing pudding to my mouth.
I made this using Valrhona Caraïbe (66%) chocolate and Scharffen Berger cocoa, but any high quality chocolate and cocoa will do. By using chocolate buttons, you’ll save yourself some precious time because you don’t need to chop them up first. Once made, this chocolate pudding will keep for up to a week in the fridge, and it makes great trifles with fresh raspberries or bananas. To dress it up a bit, try drizzling an equally quick raspberry coulis on top.
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it's steaming and there are small bubbles coming up around the edges, but do not let it boil.
- While the milk is heating, put the yolks, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk at medium high speed until the eggs are a shiny pale yellow color (about 2 minutes).
- Add the cornstarch and cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer running at low speed, slowly pour in the hot milk along the edge of the bowl being careful to avoid the whisk. A pouring shield will help.
- Wash the saucepan out and then strain the pudding mixture back into the pot through a fine mesh sieve.
- Put the pot back on the stove over medium heat and cook the chocolate pudding, stirring constantly with the spatula. Be sure to scrape up the bottom of the pan as the mixture thickens so it doesn't burn.
- Your pudding is done when it's very thick and has reached 170 degrees F. Don't worry if some lumps form, provided you strained the mixture in step 5, the lumps should go away in the next step.
- Turn off the heat and then add the chocolate a little bit at a time. Stir vigorously with the spatula to incorporate the melting chocolate and to break up any lumps.
- Once all the chocolate has been added and your pudding is smooth, stir in the butter, cream and vanilla until uniformly incorporated.
- The pudding can be served warm, or you can cover with plastic wrap pressed up against the pudding to chill.