Friday, February 17, 2012

Whole Foods Friday: Chocolate Pudding

In summer, I make a lot of ice cream. In winter, I still like creamy desserts, but ice cream seems too chilly. Pudding is perfect. It's still a cool finish to the meal, but it's not as cold as ice cream.

When I was a kid, the only pudding I knew about was packaged instant pudding. My mom was a good cook, but she wasn't much into making desserts. Actually desserts weren't a regular part of meals at all. On special occasions there might be a cake or pie. Sometimes she would buy brownies or a pound cake. And once in a while she's buy the instant pudding mix.

Home made pudding is so much better.This pudding is rich and creamy. The egg yolks make it a lot like a custard rather than a pudding thickened with just cornstarch. But it's just as simple to make. The hard part is waiting for the pudding to cool before eating it.

The key to making a good chocolate pudding is using good chocolate  And that means choosing a chocolate that you like. In this case, I used a 62% bar from Scharffen Berger. The bar was exactly 9.7 ounces for the full bar, but you don't have to be that exact if you're using other chocolate. Anything between 9 and 10 ounces will be just fine.

This pudding is not as dark-colored as some I've made, but the flavor isn't shy.

Chocolate Pudding

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 quart milk
3 egg yolks
9-10 ounces chocolate, chopped

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a pan. Whisk to combine and break up any lumps. Add the milk slowly, stirring as you add it to keep lumps from forming. Add the eggs and whisk to break them up.

Heat the mixture on medium heat, stirring until the mixture bubbles and thickens. When you see the first blurping big bubbles, turn the heat off and add all the chocolate  Stir until the chocolate all melts.

Strain the mixture through a fine strainer into a storage container. Cover the top of the pudding with plastic wrap, directly on top of the pudding to keep a skin from forming on top of the pudding as it cools. Refrigerate the pudding until it is well chilled.

Whisk or stir the pudding before serving to smooth it out.

For more information about Whole Foods Friday, see the tab at the top.