Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: This Valentine's Day, serve this pudding by itself, or top it with cream, whipped cream, or crème fraîche. Your puddin' will thank you.
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With or without the skin on top, a great chocolate pudding is a recipe every cook needs up her sleeve. This one will get you raves. Eat it secretly under the covers or serve it to company. The secrets: milk and cream, cocoa powder and chocolate. And, finally -- not too much cornstarch. I do it with natural cocoa powder and a fruity 70% chocolate (French style rather than Belgian), but do have your own way with it by using your favorite of each.
Serve the pudding naked, or pass a pitcher of heavy cream for each guest to pour on top. Or, top each serving with lightly whipped cream, crème fraîche, or a combination of the two.
1/3 cup (66 grams) sugar 1/3 cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural 2 tablespoons (17 grams) cornstarch 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 3/4 cups whole milk 1/4 cup heavy cream 3 to 4 ounces (85 grams to 115 grams) dark chocolate (use the lesser amount for chocolate in the 66% to 70% cacao range and the larger amount for chocolate closer to 60%), very finely chopped 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional) 1 cup heavy cream for pouring, or lightly sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche (or a combination), optional for serving or topping
Six 4-ounce custard cups or ramekins or 8 smaller cups
Pick up a copy of Alice's new book Flavor Flours, which includes nearly 125 recipes -- from Double Oatmeal Cookies to Buckwheat Gingerbread -- made with wheat flour alternatives like rice flour, oat flour, corn flour, sorghum flour, and teff (not only because they're gluten-free, but for an extra dimension of flavor, too).
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).