Thick, cool and creamy, homemade chocolate pudding is the
perfect I-love-you treat for your favorite people.
As I have
mentioned in an earlier post, Glenn does not eat many sweets. His ability to resist is pretty incredible, but he
does have his limits. He absolutely loves a creamy chocolate pudding. And what is better on a hot summer evening
than a cool chocolate pudding?
First we tried to find a commercially made pudding, thinking a
good pudding wouldn’t be hard to find. Unfortunately, every one we tried tasted packaged, so I started working on a
recipe we could make at home. I wanted to create a pudding with the fresh chocolate taste and creamy texture that
Glenn craves. Plus, I wanted a recipe that is easy to do, so we can make it as often as he wants without it taking
an entire afternoon.
I reviewed a number of recipes and discovered that most of
them start with custards thickened with egg yolks. This sounded good to me as a starting point, so we experimented
with several ways of making pudding until we found the one we liked best. Make sure you use a good quality
chocolate, one you would eat on its own, since the chocolate is such a prominent flavor. The great news is that a
good chocolate does not have to be expensive. If you are happy eating a Hershey chocolate bar, you can use it in
An important step in cooking the custard is to heat the
ingredients, except for the chocolate and egg yolks, in a pan to a simmer. The egg yolks will be beaten in a
separate bowl, large enough to be able to gradually add some of the hot liquid into it, whisking the whole time.
Then the bowlful of egg yolk and liquid mixture will be added back into the pan and heated more until thickened.
The reason the egg yolks are not added directly into the hot cream mixture is that they will scramble up if done
that way, leaving chunks. By adding a smaller portion of the hot cream into the yolks, the yolks will not cook as
quickly, allowing time to incorporate the eggs into the pudding custard without leaving large chunks. I also poured
the custard through a fine mesh sieve to get any chunks out. We want this pudding to be smooth and
It’s important to gently cook the custard long enough to
produce a thick base for your pudding so it will set up properly. You will need to watch the custard closely as it
cooks, stirring constantly to keep it smooth, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon thickly enough that when
you run your finger down the middle of the back of the spoon, the custard does not run into the clear mark. Add the
chocolate pieces and let them melt into the custard. Stir up, refrigerate and enjoy a cool, chocolaty
Don’t let this process scare you. It really isn’t difficult.
In about 30-40 minutes you will have some of the best chocolate pudding you have ever eaten. And the results
are soooo worth it!
ounces good quality chocolate, finely chopped
(milk, semi-sweet, or dark chocolate)
1. Pour the cream and sugar into a medium sized sauce pan. Using
a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise to expose the seeds inside. Gently run the back of
the knife down the inside of each vanilla bean half to scrape out the seeds and place both the
seeds and the bean pod halves into the cream and sugar. Mix everything well. Turn heat to
medium-low and heat until it is just simmering. Remove from heat.
2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with a whisk
or beaters until they are frothy. Slowly pour about one-third of the heated cream mixture into the
egg yolks, whisking continuously the entire time to keep eggs from forming curds. Once this is
done, return the egg yolk/cream mixture to the pan with the rest of the cream and heat to
approximately 1600 F, stirring constantly so the pudding will be smooth, not
3.Check the consistency of
the pudding by dipping a metal spoon in the custard, then carefully running a finger (careful not
to get burned!) down the middle of the back of the spoon bowl. The custard should look thickened
and the strip of spoon that you clear with your finger should remain clear. If the custard starts
to flow back into the streak, the custard is not done yet. Keep cooking and check when the custard
4. Once the custard is thick enough, remove the pan from the heat. Fish out
the vanilla bean and discard it. While the custard is still hot, add the finely chopped chocolate
to the bowl and let the chocolate melt. Gently mix the chocolate into the custard as it is melting,
making sure it all melts. If you want the pudding to be really smooth, pour the mixture through a
fine-meshed sieve into a bowl.
5. Either leave the pudding in the bowl or pour it into serving
dishes. Put plastic wrap on the top of the pudding making sure the wrap touches the surface
completely so that a thick skin doesn’t form. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate if preferred
cold. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.