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The Best Chocolate Pudding Youll Ever Have (in 15 minutes!)

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If you grew up in the eighties, like me, your main memory of chocolate pudding might be those plastic cups you buy at the grocery store. Great for an eight-year-old, not so much for a grown-up. Real chocolate pudding should be rich, decadent and bursting with chocolate flavor. An incredible way to end an evening. Luckily for us, Kristin of Pastry Affair has agreed to share her best recipe (and it takes only 15 minutes!)…

The Best Chocolate Pudding Youll Ever Have
By Kristin Rosenau of Pastry Affair

Warm or cold, pudding cups were a part of my childhood routine. I even had a special pudding-eating spoon. Long and skinny, it was the smallest spoon we had in the house (which meant that I got to draw out the satisfaction of eating the pudding much longer than anyone else). Nowadays, even though there seems to be a countless number of flavored puddings and custards, I always come back to good old-fashioned chocolate. Sometimes you just shouldnt mess with an original.

Chocolate pudding is surprisingly easy to make, and takes only fifteen minutes to whip up from start to finish. The pudding is thickened with a combination of cornstarch and egg yolks, which gives it a custard-like quality. A mixture of cocoa powder and melted chocolate lends a proper chocolate touch, while whole milk gives the pudding a rich and creamy flavor. (Two-percent milk would be a great alternative if its all you have in the house, but I would not use a milk lower in fatthe pudding will lose a little of its magic).

The real secret to this recipe is the addition of salt and vanilla extract. Both ingredients provide a contrasting flavor to the sweet chocolate, and the combination of the three takes the flavor of the pudding from one-dimensional to downright delicious. This chocolate pudding may be simple, but simplicity is often just what we need.

Recipe: Chocolate Pudding
Makes 6 1/2-cup servings

Youll need:
3 cups (710 ml) whole milk
1/3 cup (75 grams) granulated sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large egg yolks
3 oz. (85 grams) dark or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of milk with the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt. When well blended, whisk in the egg yolks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring the remaining 2 cups of milk to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently so as not to scorch the bottom. As soon as milk comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer. Gradually whisk in egg mixture, stirring quickly to incorporate. Continue cooking and stirring until pudding thickens enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon, about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until it is completely melted and the pudding is smooth. If there are any small lumps, you may optionally run the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove them. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Serve the pudding warm or cold, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or nuts, or a dollop of whipped cream. The pudding will thicken up quite a bit when cooled.

WOW. Thank you, Kristin!

P.S. More best recipes, including the best chocolate chip cookies, the best salted caramel brownies and the best chocolate ice cream.

(Recipe and photos by Kristin Rosenau of Pastry Affair. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)