So, since the first month of the new year is coming to a close and I have not yet lost my crazy craving for chocolate. And since my pants are growing ever tighter I have decided to look through some of the piles of old forgotten recipes that have sat lonely behind the more usual picks to see if I could find a more hip and butt friendly version of some chocolate treats. I was starting to think it was a lost cause when I came upon a homey, comforting, memory of childhood sort of recipe that although has not been made by me in quite a while always hit the spot when those late night chocolate demons popped up in college. It passes muster on a few points. First it is quick (this is very important because when you want chocolate you often WANT CHOCOLATE NOW !!!!!) Second, it is easy and can be a platform for other more decadent treats. Third and fourth it is low calorie (compared to it’s cousins) and made from stuff we all usually have on had at a moments notice….What is this magical food of which I speak? Rich, chocolate pudding! Warm or cool it hits the spot on nights that still hold a chill. But it should help us all feel a bit better about that sinful indulgence grabbed from the fridge at midnight.
Chocolate pudding need not be some crazy, hard to figure out dessert. It can be simple and sublime all at once. The only utensil you will need to make this simple pudd is a pan, a heat safe spatula and a whisk. This will not be a mousse or a pot-de-creme, it will not need to be handled with kid gloves, and it will not have butter, eggs or cream in it…unless you want to really dress it up which you can but wont need to. this is an old fashioned pudding thickened with only cornstarch and chocolate. This is most likely the best chocolate pudding recipe out there and it has been around for quite a while. it’s by John Scharffenberger of Scharffen Berger chocolate and it will most likely become one of your ‘go to’ weeknight treats.
So without further hesitation, lets get to it.
4 Tbl cornstarch
1/2 to 3/4 Cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 Cups whole milk
4 to 6 oz Scharffen Berger 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a double boiler slowly stir in the milk and chocolate. Place over boiling water and stir constantly until thick and smooth. cover and cook 15 min longer, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla. portion into small serving dishes or place in one larger bowl for family style. Refrigerate until chilled and enjoy!
Now for my amendments: If you are on a budget forget the expensive chocolate and go to Trader Joes and get yourself a bag of their brand name bittersweet chocolate chips or even a big bar of their imported Belgian bittersweet chocolate and chop that up instead. I doubt you will notice a difference at all. Aslo a double boiler is just a metal or pyrex bowl that fits snug on top of a pan of water. and if you are a bit more advanced you can just make the pudding right inside the pan over very low heat being extra careful not to let the bottom scorch!!!) and please be sure to use the good vanilla…the real stuff DOES make a difference here folks. And you can use low fat milk but the final product will not be quite as firm.
If you like a skin on your pudding then just pop it in the fridge as is and enjoy the chewy goodness. If you want a more refined pudding then place plastic wrap on top of each bowl making sure that it is smoothed down and touching the top of the pudding. Keep in mind that small bowls cool MUCH quicker than that big family bowl….just in case you need that fix quick! will keep for up to 3 days in the cooler….yea right! like it will last that long.