On the weekend, I was inspired to make something decadent, something rich and chocolatey and creamy. I knew immediately where to turn for inspiration: page 46 and page 47 of the January, 2003, issue of Martha Stewart Living where my favourite recipe for chocolate pudding resides: "Chocolate Pudding 101." I had made this recipe when the magazine was first issued for a dinner party that my parents hosted for their anniversary and it was a big success. To me, it is the best recipe for chocolate pudding I have ever found because it is basically fail-safe and relatively easy to make without skimping on taste or good ingredients. The pudding reminds me of the custards and caramels my grandmother used to make, but chocolate pudding was rarely on offer at her house. I was very pleased by how the pudding turned out. It tasted wonderful and was just the hit of sweet decadence I was craving. Thanks, Martha! The recipe is below.
CHOCOLATE PUDDING 101
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
A pinch of salt
1 cup of sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
Chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)
1. Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Stir in sugar.
2. Add egg yolks to the dry mixture and pour in 1/2 cup of milk; whisk until well combined.
3. In a medium saucepan, heat remaining 2 cups of milk and the heavy cream over medium heat until mixture just comes to a boil. Slowly mix the hot milk into the cocoa mixture, whisking slowly to combine.
4. Rinse out the saucepan but do not dry it, to prevent scorching. Return the custard mixture to the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir in vanilla.
5. While stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until custard has thickened slightly and is the consistency of mayonnaise - approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Do not worry if lumps form.
6. Pour custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, discarding any solids.
7. Add chopped chocolate in two batches to the warm mixture, stirring until the chocolate has melted.
8. Divide the pudding among six serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least four hours or up to overnight before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired.