Make Ahead

The Chocolate Pudding I Wish My Mother Had Made for Me

February 19, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4 (assuming you're sharing nicely)
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. 2014 update: I made some modifications, and used the pudding (without liqueur) in a chocolate cream pie. And had a little pudding left over, so there's a new (better) photo. —drbabs

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered espresso
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces very good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Frangelico or liqueur of your choice
  1. In a large saucepan heat 2 cups of milk, cocoa, sugar, salt, and espresso, whisking so that all ingredients are completely blended.
  2. Whisk cornstarch into remaining milk until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Stir this into chocolate mixture. Cook on medium-medium high heat, whisking constantly until the pudding begins to boil and becomes noticeably thicker. Turn heat down to medium-low, Continue whisking until it's so thick that the whisk leaves trails in the pudding (about 5 minutes).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, chopped chocolate and liqueur (if using), 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).
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31 Reviews

linze R. September 28, 2015
I just made this pudding and it was much easier than pudding recipes with egg. Even so, I was holding off judgement till it cooled in the fridge, but I tasted the spatula and it was so good, I scooped every bit out of the pot. Then ate one bowl of very hot pudding because it was so good! Thanks for the recipe.
drbabs September 28, 2015
I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know.
testkitchenette February 22, 2011
Bravo on a lovely photo!
testkitchenette February 22, 2011
I am just getting ready to make this myself to surprise my husband as we have run out of chocolate ice cream.
drbabs February 22, 2011
Oh--wow, I'm so honored. (That photo is from the summer. It's blurry but I didn't have another one.)
testkitchenette February 22, 2011
It is chilling in the fridge, I licked the bowl...VERY tasty!
RisaCooks February 22, 2011
My mom also used Royal. At that age I just loved it. Now I must make from scratch pudding. This sounds so good. I think the addition of Fleur de Sel on top would be outstanding. It would bring out the chocolate flavor even more.
drbabs February 22, 2011
Thanks, Risa. I loved Royal pudding as a child, too, and thought it was so much better than the instant pudding that you mix with cold milk that my friends' mothers would make. Of course now I won't go near either of them.
Lizthechef February 22, 2011
This looks delicious with your combo of great flavors - which do you prefer, the semi-sweet or bitter-sweet? Thumbs up!
drbabs February 22, 2011
Thanks, Liz. I like bittersweet because I don't like things too sweet and the liqueur does add some sweetness. But I've made it with semi-sweet and it's also delicious.
Pittsburgher February 21, 2011
I've never been a pudding-maker until Saturday, when I made the fabulous recipe for choc pudding in march Bon appetit. Would love to claim it as my own but couldn't begin to improve on something so worth the calories -- except perhaps the sprinkle of fleur de sel. Thankful for leftovers...
drbabs February 22, 2011
I just looked that one up and it sounds divine. I love orange and chocolate together, too.
Let T. February 21, 2011
I love your recipe!!! Oh my goodness!! My Grandmother used to make 8 Chocolate Cream pies and 8 Coconut Cream pies from scratch every Xmas Eve morning, I do not even remember her measuring!!! I have her heavy aluminum pan that she used every year and her handprint is molded into the black wooden handle....sigh,gives me goose bumps just thinking about it!!!
drbabs February 21, 2011
That sounds amazing.
Midge February 21, 2011
Funny, my mom has always been a great baker but used those horrible mixes too. Your version sounds killer drbabs.
drbabs February 21, 2011
My mother also bakes from mixes. I really never knew there was any other way until I was out on my own.
testkitchenette February 21, 2011
I hope I did not offend you with my harsh pudding skin comment! No offense was meant! This hot chocolate would be divine on this snowy day we are having on Long Island!
drbabs February 21, 2011
Not at all!! Everyone likes different things! And even though I like the skin, when I make this for a dinner party, I always cover the surface because it's so much richer and creamier without the skin.

Be careful in the snow. They're saying 2-4 inches but I think we already have almost 4. Ugh.
testkitchenette February 21, 2011
Whoops, I must have hot chocolate on the brain while writing about your chocolate pudding! We have about 5 inches here on the South Shore of Long Island. I think today will involve some pudding making!
mrslarkin February 20, 2011
drbabs February 21, 2011
:) Thanks!
hardlikearmour February 20, 2011
Wow, this sounds positively obsession-worthy!
drbabs February 21, 2011
It's pretty simple, but really good if you're a chocoholic like me!
testkitchenette February 20, 2011
This sounds great, I also grew up puddingless. It was just a dessert that my mother did not make. I also like that you have the direction of putting plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. I remain in the camp that detests the skin and was always horrified if having pudding at a friend's house where pudding skin was the norm. Thanks for another great recipe!
drbabs February 21, 2011
I actually like the skin, but I know that most people don't.
Sadassa_Ulna February 19, 2011
Yum, this sounds heavenly...
drbabs February 21, 2011
Thank you!
Sagegreen February 19, 2011
I sure do like your version. How lucky your daughter is!
drbabs February 21, 2011
You're very sweet.
dymnyno February 19, 2011
I think my mother made the same pudding as your mother...unfortunately! Your pudding is to dream about!!
drbabs February 21, 2011
It's funny how what we grew up with colors our thinking. I always thought I hated rice because my mother only made Minute Rice and I hated that. Because I hated it, I never ate it in a restaurant or anywhere else. Imagine my surprise... It's the same with pudding. I really never knew what pudding could taste like until I started making it myself.