February 6, 2012

Everyday chocolate pudding

Continuing this month's unofficial theme, chocolate, I'm offering an everyday chocolate pudding - it's on the lighter side and it's simple to make.  This could be a very nice, sweet ending to a Valentine's Day dinner at home. 
As simple as chocolate pudding should be, there are a lot of recipes out there.  You have variations using eggs and butter while others rely on cornstarch alone as thickener.  Even techniques are different; in some recipes, you cook the mixture over the stovetop while some are made in a double boiler.  And sometimes you should strain the pudding, other times, you don't.  I think you get the picture.
I've tried a few chocolate pudding (and chocolate pudding pie) recipes and, for now, I've adapted this one as my go-to, everyday chocolate pudding.  It's lighter - no eggs or butter involved unlike the last recipe I showed you.  That recipe made tasty pudding but looking back, you (and I) probably want a lighter pudding for everyday.  This one is a milk and cornstarch based pudding (and you can use whole or low-fat 2% milk depending on what you prefer or have on hand) and I use a combination of cocoa powder and dark chocolate for flavoring.  I cook the pudding right on the stove and it thickens up after about 10 minutes of whisking.  No straining either because who wants that extra step and extra equipment to wash.  You just ladle it into bowls and chill.  I don't think you need any whipped cream on top - it's just plain old-fashioned, comforting, chocolate pudding for everyday.
Dig in!

For this stovetop chocolate pudding, I add 1/4 cup cornstarch, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (but this is optional), 1/2 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a saucepan.  Whisk the ingredients together.
Then, slowly add 3 cups of milk while whisking.  I used whole milk this time but you can cut the fat down further by using 2% milk.  Whisk the milk and dry ingredients together, using a rubber spatula to get into the corners. 
Turn the heat on to medium and cook, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.  In about ten minutes, the mixture thickens and begins to come to a boil.  Continue to whisk and cook for another minute.  Then, remove the pan from the heat and add 4 ounces of chopped chocolate.  You can use semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate with up to 70% cacao.  Add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
Slowly whisk the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated.  Now, you could strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer to get rid of any hidden lumps but I skip this step for this everyday pudding.  I don't want to clean the strainer!  Spoon the pudding into serving dishes and chill for at least a hour before serving.  To prevent a skin from forming on the top of the pudding, place plastic wrap directly on top, touching the pudding, before placing in the refrigerator.
Our six-year old loves chocolate pudding (of course!).  He had no complaints polishing his dish off - he just wanted a bigger spoon for it!


Everyday Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from/inspired by this, this, and this

- For 6 servings -

1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk*
4 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao), chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

* You could also use low-fat, 2%, milk

Whisk cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), sugar, and salt together in a saucepan.  Slowly whisk in the milk to combine, using a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the pan. 

Turn heat on to medium and cook mixture, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.  Continue until pudding thickens and comes to a boil, approximately 10 minutes.  Cook, whisking, for another minute before removing the pan from the heat. 

Add chopped chocolate and vanilla extract.  Slowly whisk together until chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.  Ladle pudding into serving bowls and cover with plastic wrap.  To prevent a skin from forming on top of the pudding, place plastic wrap directly touching the tops of the pudding.  Chill for at least an hour before serving.  Store the pudding in the refrigerate for up to 3 days.


  1. I made this and followed it to a T! I halved the recipe and I got 3 bowls (NOT ENOUGH!). It was perfect! My first attempt at a chocolate pudding and this recipe is a keeper! I added some toffee bits on top of it. SO SO good. THANK YOU!

  2. I am so glad to hear that!! Thank you for letting me know. : ) The toffee topping sounds great - a little crunch and contrast to the creamy pudding. : )



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