Monday, July 5, 2010

Chocolate pudding

Puddin', aw yeah

When you make certain recipes, you know you're going to end up with a bunch of half-eggs, whether it be a pile of whites or, in this case, a pile of yolks left over from making angel food cake. Whites are easy enough to use up, but what about yolks? The most common way to use yolks is in a custard, like a pastry cream or a pudding.

Mmm, pudding. Who doesn't like pudding? Especially chocolate pudding. But the problem is that so many people eat bad pudding and accept it as alright. Pudding out of a Jell-O box? Well, that's tolerable, though the cooked kind always ends up with lumps and a horrible skin, no matter what you do. But pudding in those pre-packaged pudding cups? Seriously? That stuff tastes more like chemicals than pudding. And that's just not right, not when pudding should be a creamy, luxurious, delicious experience.

So, pudding. Real pudding, and y'know, it wasn't even that hard.

Chocolate Pudding
Recipe from the Joy of Baking website.
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 c milk (I used 1% 'cause it's what I had -- I bet whole would be even better)
1/2 c heavy cream
4 egg yolks
4 ounces (2/3 c) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used chocolate chips)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

1. In a heatproof (glass or stainless steel) bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. Whisk in 1/2 c of the milk. Mix in the egg yolks, one at a time.
2. Rinse out a medium saucepan with water. Pour in the other 2 c of milk and the cream. Bring this just to a boil, then pull the pan off of the heat.
3. Slowly pour a bit at a time of the hot milk mixture into the chocolate mixture. Don't rush this -- pour a little, stir, pour a little more, stir again. If you rush, you'll end up with scrambled eggs.
4. Once all of the milk is mixed into the chocolate, pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Stir or whisk until it thickens up to the consistency of mayonnaise. Don't walk away or stop stirring -- cornstarch works quickly, so it'll be watery and you'll be thinking "geez, how long's this gonna take?" and then all of a sudden, it'll go from water to thickened in a matter of seconds.
5. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips), vanilla and butter until everything is melted and smooth.
6. Pour into a bowl or individual serving dishes and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.

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