Saturday, July 2, 2011

Chocolate Pudding

June 26th is National Chocolate Pudding day!  My family started celebrating this just last year on a whim.  This year I decided to make our pudding from scratch.  Did I mention it’s Sunday? And I’m fresh out of instant chocolate pudding.  So, you’s either from scratch, break the sabbath, or forego a National Chocolate Pudding Day celebration!  It turned out to be easy and fun.  You just have to be patient for the time that it takes to cool in the fridge.  I’m not so good with patience, so if you are curious, my personal review of the pudding warm, is that it’s still yum!  You do have to strain the pudding, as there will be a few lumps, despite how much you whip it.  We were headed to my parents house for dinner with my entire family.  I decided to throw together a dessert that would stretch out my pudding so that we could share with everyone.  I layered chocolate cake, graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, vanilla pudding and real whipping cream in a trifle bowl.  I also drizzled caramel ice-cream topping in between the layers because I happened to have it in the fridge.  I only let myself eat about three bites, but it was heavenly!  I’ve been really working to stay away from flour, but I caved and did eat a few bites.

1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
5 cups milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
12 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate, obviously the better quality the better tasting (F.Y.I. I only had hersheys on hand and I thought it was still good.)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler.  I don’t have a “real” double boiler, so I use a larger pan to boil water in and place a deep frying pan on top.  Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a rubber scraper until all the dry ingredients and mixed in and it is smooth.  Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides.  Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form.  After 20 to 25 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate.  Stir until melted.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Just so you know, it doesn’t really set up further in the fridge, so whatever thickness your pudding is when you stop cooking, will be how thick it is after hours in the fridge.  If you want a real thick pudding, add an extra tablespoon or two of cornstarch.

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