Sunday, April 10, 2011

Erin Maries's Easy Chocolate Pudding

Easy Chocolate Pudding
Recipe by Erika Bruce, Cook's Country magazine, Feb/Mar 2011 issue, pg. 17 (I don't want to be sued!)

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk chocolate chips (they recommend Hershey's milk chocolate chips - that's what I used)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in large saucepan.  Whisk milk and cream into sugar mixture until smooth.  Add chocolate chips and bring to simmer, whisking occassionally, over medium heat.  reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and large bubbles appear at surface, 2 to 3 minutes.  Off heat, stir in vanilla.

2. Transfer pudding to large bowl and plce plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding.  Refrigerate until competely cool, at least 4 hours.  (Pudding can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days).  Serve.

Chill Faster, Eat Sooner
To some pudding lovers (especially little oens), waiting 4 hours to eat pudding seems like a lifetime.  To speed the chilling, transfer the pudding to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish in step 2 and place plastic wrap directly on its surface.  Place in freezer until completely cool, at least 45 minutes to 1 hour.


Mocha Pudding
Prepare chocolate pudding, adding 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder to saucepan with brown sugar in step 1.

Chocolate-Almond Pudding
Prepare chocolate pudding, replacing vanilla with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  To serve, sprinkle with 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds.  (Toast the sliced almonds in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.)

EMH notes: My pudding didn't quite ever come to a real simmer or have big bubbles like they say to look for, but I think it's a function of me not having a gas stove.  The non-constant heat of the electric burner meant that it would bubble like it wanted to simmer, but then stop when the heat turned off.  But it was thickening so I actually turned the heat up to just over medium and whisked like a crazy person till I thought it felt thick enough, but not so thick that I'd wrecked it.  If your whisk is leaving streaks and it's noticably harder to whisk through, it's probably thick enough.

I did the quick chill freezing and checked it at about 30 minutes - didn't want it to freeze through!  And it was so good when the edges were cool but the insides were still warm.  Ahhhhh.  I stuck it in the fridge at that point and it set up nicely.

Eli said it tastes like cold hot chocolate.  It is really good.  No harder to make than the Jello packets really once you have the stuff combined, and not that much more expensive.

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