Thursday, March 21, 2013

Simple But Dignified Chocolate Pudding

{What's up, pudding cup?}
As a child of the eighties/nineties, Snack Pack pudding cups occupied an important place in my lunch box and my heart. As an adult, I sometimes get a hankering for pudding, but feel like I should have a more dignified version, or at least one that does not wage chemical warfare on my body (Eek! Snack Packs have a shelf life of 18 months and their scary ingredients are listed here).

Luckily, a dignified and chemical-free homemade pudding is quick and easy to make. It's rich and decadent, yet cozy and simple. A sweet end to a Thursday night. 

{Let's make puddin'}
Simple But Dignified Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from here

Makes 6 cup-sized servings

1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces Trader Joe's Chocolate Chips (I'm sure better chocolate would mean better pudding but I always seem to have
TJ's chocolate chips on hand.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Combine the cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk, otherwise lumps may form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate chips. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (if you want - I never do) and then pour into individual serving dishes.

3. If you like pudding skin (like I do), pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish before refrigerating. If you hate pudding skin (like Flavio), place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating.

4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days. Top with nuts and serve with strawberries.

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