Chocolate Pudding

So, it’s Friday night, and Cayleigh wants to know what’s for her dessert tonight? I tell her I’ll pick up some delicious Louisiana strawberries, she can have them with whipped cream.  Oh great, she says, and as I close the door behind me, I hear her yell, Oh, and get me some Pudding Cups!!  Guess what I forgot?

So, today, I’m going to show her how to make homemade chocolate pudding.  I’ve talked to her about it before, but, we never did it.  The pudding cups are convenient, they last longer, etc.  But, this is much, much better…and, we have lots and lots of eggs to use up.  I’d like to say that I created this recipe, but, pudding is, I believe, one of those original, long ago recorded recipes that all you can do is tinker with.  The proportions are all basically the same.  I don’t remember using cornstarch when I was a kid, maybe that is a new addition.  And, believe it or not, my old go-to cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, did not have a basic Chocolate Pudding recipe.  Well, here is what Cayleigh and I made.  I hope you enjoy it in your kitchen, too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Whipping cream in a can!
The ingredients

The ingredients.

Directions:

  • Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a non-reactive saucepan or a double boiler top pot.  I prefer the double boiler, so my pudding doesn’t scorch, or set too “hard”.  Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl.  Gradually whisk the hot milk intothe egg mixture.  Return the saucepan and cook over medium high heat, whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil.  Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.
  • Pour the pudding into 4 medium or 6 small cups (1/2 cup each, more or less).  Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set.
  • Just before serving, top with Mimi’s “Always Have In the House to Spoil All Grandkids!” handy dandy whipped cream in a can.
Combining the milk, cocoa, and sugar.

Combining the milk, cocoa, and sugar.

Well, you can make your own whipped cream, however….life is short and, sometimes, it’s nice to just eat the pudding!

Also, it’s one of the few things a small child can do to add great flourish to just about ANY dessert, and makes them feel great!  See?

The egg, milk, cornstarch & vanilla mix ready to be added.

The egg, milk, cornstarch & vanilla mix ready to be added.

It’s quite easy to make your own whipped cream, however, it doesn’t keep till the next day without stabilizers.  This is one of the few kitchen shortcuts that I’ve adopted from my mother-in-law.  There are others she’s tried to get me to adopt, like the pre-shredded cabbage for her famous coleslaw, but, she spoiled us all, and handcut is definetely better!

The finished product, ready to go in the fridge.

The finished product, ready to go in the fridge.

The leftover part of this recipe?  What to do with the egg whites – you can make meringue “cookies” or suspiritos (whispers, in Spanish), make an egg white omelet, add them to a smoothie, cook them for the cat or dog, or, (I usually feed them back to the chickens!).

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