I made this as the dessert for my Feast of the Seven Fishes at Christmas, and it was the hit of the evening. The spice from the cinnamon gives it a nice warmth and the sea salt sprinkled on top makes a lovely salty-sweet combo. I'm a huge lover of chocolate pudding because the silky, rich texture is just so satisfying at the end of a meal, and this one is my favorite. Optional is adding some cayenne or other chili powder to make it into Mexican chocolate--always a nice change! —Meatballs&Milkshakes
chopped semi-sweet chocolate
instant coffee or espresso powder
Frangelico or flavored alcohol of your choice (optional)
sea salt such as Maldon to sprinkle on top
or more to taste, cayenne or other chili (optional)
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, salt, and milk in a pan and cook for a few minutes until it thickens. Most recipes do this in a double boiler, but I've found it takes so much longer for it to thicken that way. As long as you are stirring and the heat isn't too high, I prefer to do it directly in the pan so I can ensure it will thicken.
Add the chocolate and stir until melted.
Off the heat, add the vanilla, cinnamon, coffee powder, and Frangelico. If adding cayenne, add it now. (If you do add the chili powder, it's important to taste it at this stage because chili powder varies so much with the heat level-- you may want to add more, just remember that it will be slightly stronger once it's permeated and sat for a while.)
Pour into ramekins and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Sprinkle sea salt over the top right before serving. You don't want to do this ahead of time because the salt will start to soak into the pudding and dissolve.
I'm an ex-finance, nonprofit fundraiser by day and a (mostly) Italian cook and blogger by night. I love having friends over for dinner and my favorite evenings are when we spend them at home together cooking dinner and chatting. I'm an avid cooking show fan, and my favorite eating cities are New York, San Francisco, Paris, and Rome.