Author Notes: Last summer when I was making ice cream nearly every week, I discovered that the base of the chocolate ice cream that my family and friends love is a wonderfully smooth and rich chocolate pudding. I grew up on boxed cooked pudding (Royal, I think--terrible-- but not as bad as instant), so this was a revelation. The liqueur (in this case Frangelico, or hazelnut liqueur), adds a wonderful nutty flavor, but you can leave it out or substitute with the liquor of your choice. This is not exactly nursery food--it's a little rich and sophisticated for that--but it is very chocolatey and comforting, if chocolate is your thing. I like the pudding with a few flakes of fleur de sel sprinkled on top. (The one in the (really bad) photo is topped with a little whipped cream, a blackberry and a candied pecan.) - drbabs
Serves 4 (assuming you're sharing nicely)
- 3 cups half and half, divided
- 3/4 cups Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered espresso
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces very good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Frangelico or liqueur of your choice
- In a large saucepan heat 2 cups of Half and Half, cocoa, sugar, salt, and espresso, stirring so that all ingredients are completely blended.
- Whisk cornstarch into remaining Half and Half until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Stir this into chocolate mixture. Cook on medium-medium high heat, stirring constantly until the pudding begins to boil and becomes noticeably thicker.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, chopped chocolate and liqueur, stirring until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is very smooth. Divide into individual ramekins and place plastic wrap or a parchment circle over the top, laying it flat against the surface of the pudding so that a skin doesn't form. Refrigerate till cold (if you can wait that long).
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Pudding