Thursday, September 30, 2010

Best Chocolate Pudding for Kathleen

My good friend Kathleen just moved to Istanbul. I admire her for a great many reasons, but in this case particularly for going to an entirely different place with nothing but courage and enthusiasm. She just began teaching, an unexpected fork in the road, but one that will allow her to share her gifts and knowledge while learning in turn from her experiences about this new culture. I am so proud to be friends with someone who can take up a challenge like that.

Kathleen's between her old life and her new one, and unfortunately this transition does not involve a kitchen with an oven. She asked me if I could post some no-bake dessert recipes. She was tired of only eating fruit and whipped cream, which is a pretty good problem to have as far as problems go, but some days you just want something rich and filling. I have those "some days" every day that ends in the letter y.

Luckily, chocolate is always a solution.

This is my favorite chocolate pudding recipe. It's like being a kid again, but with higher quality chocolate than Jello. The rewards are reaped in under an hour with this pudding, made on the stovetop for 20 minutes and then set in the fridge for 30 minutes.

So I send my chocolate-covered wishes of happiness, hope, and good dessert half way around the globe and into your kitchen. Fruit with whipped cream can be the addition here, not the main focus, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Best Chocolate Pudding
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

yields 6 servings

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
6 ounces chocolate (I used 71% cacao Swiss dark. Use your favorite!)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract*

*You could add any number of flavorings to this: peppermint extract, orange juice, Baileys, Kahlua, fruit liquors...

Bring 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan to a simmer on medium-low heat. Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a bowl heatproof bowl (not plastic). Place bowl over the saucepan (double broiler) and slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients.

Stir contents of the bowl occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate (chopped, if not using baking chips).

Whisk for about 3 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the extract.

Pour into serving bowls. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dishes before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding itself and smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

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  1. That looks so rich and chocolatey.

  2. Thanks ladies! and thanks for the recipe Molly!

  3. Hi Molly,

    These are chilling in the fridge for girls' dinner tonight. Thank you for the inspiration.



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