As we mentioned on Tuesday, we’d made those Chocolate Sables as a treat to entice people to stay for a meeting. It must have worked, because they, along with a batch of Pecan Sandy Bars, were long gone, meaning that we were Jonesing for a chocolate dessert that night, and we couldn’t rely on the leftover cookies. Fortunately, there are some desserts that take almost no time to whip up, and, if they’re chocolate, so much the better.
This one, which came from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook, by Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, goes so far as to promise double chocolate. How could we resist? We couldn’t.
It has come to our attention over the years, that there are some people who, when they want pudding, go out and buy little packages of dried pudding mix. To us, this is nearly unbelievable, because homemade pudding is one of the fastest and easiest desserts going. Plus, you really don’t save any time (unless you buy that chemically-tasting suspect instant pudding), as you have to cook the milk with the mix, anyway. So why not just scratch it up yourself? It’s easy and it’ll take less time than writing this post did.
Makes 2 servings.
Use good chocolate and cocoa. What’s the point of making dessert with bad chocolate? There is none. The egg should be from one of those free-range hens; it’s just a better egg, simple as that. The other thing to do is to compare this ingredient list with that on the back of a package of Jello-O brand chocolate pudding. You’ll note our recipe doesn’t have the Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate. Aww. Too bad.
Not an ingredient discussion, but more procedural: we use a double boiler because we find it makes for a lump-free pudding and prevents burning. It’s perfectly possible to make this recipe in an ordinary saucepan. We find it takes the same amount of time either way.
Procedure in detail:
Mise en place. Pudding goes together quite rapidly, so you know the drill. Chop the chocolate, measure all the ingredients, separate the egg (we dropped the yolk in the milk for safe- keeping; see it?). Since we’d read ahead on the recipe, we knew all the dry ingredients were going into the top of a double boiler, so we just measured and put them in there from the outset.
Whisk dry ingredients. Get out your handy whisk, and really give those dry ingredients a good mixing. Just so you know, once the ingredients are whisked together, you have a basic pudding mix.
Add milk and egg yolk. Now pour in the milk and add the egg yolk and whisk away while everything is cold. Keep whisking so that all the pesky dry lumps of cocoa are gone.
Cook. Place the top of the double boiler over water and start heating over high heat. With a double boiler, you can get away with quick-cooking like this, as the boiling water will temper the temperature. While the pudding is cooking, whisk. And keep whisking. And whisk until the pudding thickens, about 7 minutes. Then cook, whisking all the time, for about 3 minutes more to ensure the pudding is fully thickened. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate, butter, and vanilla. You want double chocolate pudding, right? Now’s the time to stir in that chocolate and butter. Keep stirring until everything is melted and the pudding is smooth. Stir in the vanilla, too. We save the vanilla for last so it retains maximum flavor.
Scoop into bowls. Pour the pudding into serving bowls, urging more pudding out of the pan with a spoon. Don’t scrape the sides of the pan, since that’s where some of the overcooked pudding is stuck. Just get the pristine stuff. Any left in the pan afterwards is for the chef to taste-test.
Refrigerate. If you don’t like pudding skin, press a piece of plastic wrap right onto the surface of the pudding before popping it into the fridge. Otherwise, just pop it into the fridge for a couple of hours, or thoroughly chilled.
This is a very smooth, very chocolate, pudding. Plus, it’s very easy to make, since it requires no tempering of the egg. Yes, it does require a lot of whisking, but it’s worth it. After tasting this, we made the cinnamon optional. We both found it a bit distracting. And, if you don’t want to be distracted from that delicious chocolate, we’d suggest leaving it out, or you could replace it with 1/4 teaspoon of instant coffee, which goes with chocolate. Either way, five stars!