It’s taken me a long time to come around to cold chocolate pudding.
I come from a hot pudding family. Mama always served it as hot as we could stand it, but I’m sure that was more of a mental health strategy than a culinary choice. From the time we got that first whiff of chocolate coming from the pot on the stove, my sister and I would buzz around the kitchen emitting a high-frequency tone inaudible to people over 30. We were relentless. Excited. Maybe a little scary. Hence the bowls of scalding-hot pudding.
Mama needed some relief.
But with chocolate pudding, temperature matters. A hot chocolate pudding is very rich and intense, with all of the flavor rushing towards you at the start of each bite. Nothing held back. Like a stripper who unceremoniously drops trou and shakes the goods right up in your face.
Hot chocolate pudding has no mystery.
Cold chocolate pudding is more seductive. With each slow bite, its flavor blooms. If hot chocolate pudding is a pole-dancing, platform-wearing, bump-and-grind stripper, then cold chocolate pudding is a burlesque performer with ostrich feather fans and opera-length gloves.
Same ingredients; very different experiences.
I should probably take some to my mom.
Milk Chocolate Pudding
Makes 8 servings
- 3/4 cup sugar (divided use)
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups whole or low-fat milk (divided use)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, melted*
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar*
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate curls
- Fresh berries
- In a large bowl, blend 1/4 cup of the sugar with the cornstarch and cocoa powder, whisking to break up any lumps. Stir in 1/2 cup of the milk, the eggs and the egg yolks, and whisk together until smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a nonreactive saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Temper the eggs by gradually adding about one-third of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the tempered egg mixture to the pan with the remaining milk mixture.
- Return the pan to medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it reaches a boil and is quite thick and very smooth, 4-5 minutes.
- Temper the melted chocolate by adding about 1/2 cup of the hot egg mixture and stirring until very smooth. Return the tempered chocolate to the pan, add the butter and vanilla extract, and stir until well blended.
- Pour the pudding into eight 6-ounce ramekins, custard cups or a large bowl. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper directly on the surface of each pudding to prevent a skin from forming; pierce it in 2 or 3 places to let the heat escape. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
- To Make the Chantilly Cream: Pour the cream into a chilled bowl, and whip on medium speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to high, and gradually add the confectioners’ sugar while whipping. Add the vanilla extract, and whip until the cream has soft peaks.
- If desired, garnish with a dollop or rosette of Chantilly Cream and chocolate curls and/or raspberries.
*Gluten-Free Tip: Use GF chocolate, butter and confectioner’s sugar.