Recipe: Dark Chocolate Pudding

When I posted my pumpkin pudding recipe I said I’d probably try a chocolate variation next. So here you go! Most chocolate pudding recipes use cocoa powder instead of chocolate bars for a super-smooth texture. I wanted to be able to experiment with a wide variety of chocolates–and use up some chocolate bars I had sitting around! Do keep in mind, though, that this means the texture might not be as smooth as you’re used to.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar*
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3.5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped*
  • whipped cream (optional)

*Different chocolates are varyingly sweet. I prefer a somewhat bitter chocolate and used very dark chocolate in my recipe. Add more sugar and/or use a less bitter chocolate if you prefer a sweeter chocolate flavor.

Pour the half-and-half into a saucepan. Place over medium heat.

Whisk the light brown sugar and the egg yolks together in a medium bowl until thick and pale, about two minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Whisk in cornstarch.

When the half-and-half is scalding hot (but NOT boiling), gradually drizzle it into the egg yolk mixture while vigorously whisking (you’re trying to temper the eggs–gradually heat them–without scrambling them). Once all the half-and-half is whisked in, pour back into the saucepan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped chocolate.

Stir constantly. In roughly five minutes the mixture should start to thicken and come to a simmer. Simmer for two minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into serving bowls or a storage container. Press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface (so it won’t form a skin), cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold. Enjoy!

If you haven’t done much with puddings before, see that pumpkin pudding recipe for some after-recipe tips for making them come out right!

One of the reasons I wanted to use chopped chocolate instead of cocoa powder was for the ability to play with the type of chocolate I was using. For example, next time I might substitute coconut milk for some of the half-and-half and use a couple of coconut chocolate bars that I have lying around. More basically, it allows you to use whatever concentration of chocolate best suits your tastes.

If you wish to make a white chocolate pudding, simply substitute one (3.5 ounce) bar Green & Black’s Vanilla White Chocolate for the dark chocolate and leave out the vanilla extract. (I don’t usually recommend specific brands, but I’ll make an exception when it comes to white chocolate.)

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