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Author Notes: After years of tweaking one of Mark Bittman's pudding recipes, I arrived at this one. The bittersweet chocolate flavor is enhanced by the espresso (use decaf if your guests are sensitive,) and the brown sugar adds some depth. If you want to get fancy, you can top it with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. - SFTA —SFTA
Food52 Review: This simple, tasty chocolate pudding from SFTA is free of any excess bells and whistles -- just simple, tasty chocolate pudding. The rich, creamy pudding is very chocolatey without overwhelming the palate. It's a perfect comfort food dessert. —Stephanie Bourgeois
- 2 cups half & half (or 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk)
- 1/2 cup milk (whole, 2%, whatever)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 ounce freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (high cacao content,) broken up into small pieces. I like to use Ghirardelli to support the home team!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Add half & half, both sugars and salt into a medium (2 qt) saucepan over medium low heat. Cook until you see steam coming off the top of the liquid.
- While half & half mixture is heating, combine cornstarch and milk in a bowl and blend until smooth. You want this slurry to be as lump-free as possible. Have a fine-mesh strainer handy, you'll use it in the next step.
- once half & half starts to steam, add the cornstarch slurry through the strainer, catching any errant lumps. Add the espresso to the saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally with a whisk, until it barely reaches a boil (this will take around 5 mn.) The mixture will thicken.
- Reduce heat to very low, stirring and cooking for another 5 mn or so, until fairly thick. The consistency should be thick enough to thickly coat a spoon.
- Remove saucepan from heat, add in the chocolate and let it sit in the mixture, slowly melting on its own for 1 mn. After that, add softened butter and stir to fully incorporate everything. Pour the pudding into 4 (4 oz) ramekins or little bowls. If you are anti-pudding skin, lay plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding to prevent skin from forming. The plastic wrap can be buttered so you don't lose any precious pudding during wrap removal.
- Refrigerate until chilled. Remove ramekins from fridge 10-15 mn before serving.