My son Theo and I made this chocolate pudding one afternoon while his little brother snoozed. We turned it into “Valentine’s Day Chocolate Pudding” with the addition of cute little strawberry hearts.
With the upcoming move, I’ve been craving comfort food. As you do when you’re on the cusp of a major life change. I feel like I should clarify from that last post, we are relocating but we haven’t yet bought a house. We are renting in the neighbourhood where we want to buy until the right place comes up, because we were driving ourselves crazy trying to get in the market before the elementary school registration deadline. This gives us some time and mental space to make clear-headed decisions. I had so many lovely people message me on Instagram and facebook and email me with questions and congratulations, that I thought I should correct the home-buying assumption. We aren’t yet done with giving the kitten shots of espresso.
So anxiety-induced comfort-food cravings. All I’ve been wanting to eat is muffins and every incarnation of potatoes and chocolate pudding and… well, Indian food, strangely.
And you know what that made me realize? I’ve been living with my husband for my entire adult life. We met fourteen years ago and have been glued at the hip ever since. Fourteen years before that, I was in kindergarten. Barring the years you’re too little to remember, I’ve had as much time for Adarsh to influence my comfort food as I had with my own family. My stomach’s heart is half Indian. (I’ve made chickpea curry, tandoori chicken, and lamb curry in the past two weeks, plus Indian takeout.)
Let me jump tracks again and ask you, WHAT is UP with the FLU going around?! Theo and Everett and I were all feeling rotten with high fevers for over a week, and, although I thought I was on the upswing yesterday, I’m back in bed (and in misery – coughing and blowing nose every 2 minutes, chills, aches, the whole enchilada) again today.
Allow me to dust off my infrequently-used dietitian’s hat (while I’m serving you chocolate pudding) and give some advice on how to avoid this monster:
- wash hands frequently and get out of the habit of touching your face (rubbing eyes, nose, picking dry lips or touching lips while thinking)
- use sanitizing wipes on things you touch all the time while out in public and then again at home (phone, pen, laptop, etc.)
- drink enough water so that you are trotting to the loo every 1-2 hours
- consume something to ensure adequate vitamin C (citrus, kiwi, red pepper) daily
- consume something probiotic for gut health (I alternate between this and this), and some prebiotic foods (oatmeal, barley, bananas) daily
Picture me wagging my finger at you and using an authoritative voice. I’m being bossy. I don’t want you to go through what we are going through.
Now. The important matter at hand. This chocolate pudding has both cocoa and chopped, good-quality dark chocolate to make it deep and rich and utterly faceplant-worthy. It’s thickened with both cornstarch and eggs, and is whisked up simply on the stovetop. Super easy, and actually dangerously good while still warm. Add a pillow of whipped cream and you’ll want to take a nap in it.
Chocolate Pudding Recipe with Double Chocolate and Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp coarse salt
- 1 large egg + 2 large egg yolks
- 4 oz good dark chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2 tbsp cold butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- sweetened whipped cream for topping optional
- pinch flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) for topping optional
- In a medium saucepan away from heat, stir together the cocoa powder and cornstarch. Add a bit of the milk, whisking thoroughly to make a smooth paste. Continue adding milk in a slow drizzle while whisking constantly to blend. When all milk has been added, place over medium-high heat, add the sugar and salt, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and allow the pudding the bubble and thicken for two minutes, still stirring frequently. Remove it from the heat so you can do the next step.
- In a heat-proof measuring cup or bowl, whisk the egg and egg yolks. In a very slow stream, whisking constantly, add about 1/2 cup of the pudding mixture to the eggs to temper them (avoid scrambling). Slowly whisk this egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the pudding. Return to heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then remove from heat once more.
- Add butter, vanilla, and chopped chocolate, and stir until chocolate is melted completely. If the pudding has curdled or has remaining cocoa/cornstarch lumps, you can just force it through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Otherwise, just transfer directly to a heat-proof bowl, press parchment paper directly onto the surface (I prefer it to using plastic wrap directly on hot foods), and refrigerate until chilled, at least four hours. OR eat it hot with whipped cream.