Who doesn’t occasionally get that craving for chocolate pudding? It’s so easy to make, plus, it’s a great thing to do with any extra plain chocolate you might have. I know, you’re thinking “Who on Dagon’s green earth has EXTRA chocolate?!?” But, being smack dab in the middle of the candy-themed-holiday-marathon, I have more than I know I should eat. It all seems to go so quickly, from Halloween to Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter, and isn’t candy the true meaning all these holidays? Jesus, who’s he? Bring on the the fat man in the red suit and the chocolate bunnies! (*Please read into the sarcasm in this. I find the commercialization of religious holidays quite ironic and depressing.*)
If you don’t happen to have any of that elusive ‘extra’ chocolate, every now and then 12 oz bags of chocolate chips go on sale for $1 at discount grocery stores, and that would be about what’s needed for this recipe.
Something rather important about dessert cookery is ratios or ‘baker’s percentages.’ With baked goods, it’s not only about flavor but it’s about science too; each ingredient interacts with the others to make just the right texture, whether that’s a fluffy, airy cake or a thick, creamy custard. (That’s probably why my engineer brother-in-law makes such bomb cheesecakes, because it’s science!) You’ll notice that all the ingredients in this pudding are proportional. Not only are they proportional, they are specific to chocolate pudding, because chocolate is one of those magic ingredients that is solid at colder/room temperatures and melts at higher temperatures (just like butter!) and it helps to thicken the pudding. These ratios may not work on a non-chocolate flavored pudding.
Makes 6, 1 cup portions – cost approx $.37 per serving
- 4 cups milk ($.75)
- 2 eggs ($.24)
- 4 Tbs cornstarch
- 4 Tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups chopped milk chocolate ($1)
The ratio is 2 cups milk:1 egg:2 Tbs cornstarch:1/2 cup chocolate. The sugar and vanilla are dependent on your tastes.
Whisk all ingredients, except chocolate, together in a sauce pan. Heat the pan on medium, stirring often. In 5-10 minutes the mixture will begin to thicken slightly. Add in the chocolate and stir until fully melted. Heat the mixture until thick and about 165 F. If you’re wiggly about undercooked eggs, or feeding this to anyone in a sensitive group (pregnant women, small children, the elderly, people with immune diseases) heat the pudding to 175 F.
Pass through a fine mesh strainer or chinois then put into whatever containers you like. If you’re a pudding skin hater, cover the surface with plastic wrap. Put in the fridge to cool. Wait patiently, spoon in hand. In a few hours it should be cooled and ready to eat.