The funny thing is, Julia’s been on a chocolate pudding kick lately. So when I saw that Melissa of It’s Melissa’s Kitchen had chosen Chocolate Pudding (page 383 of Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan), I was rather pleased.
The pudding went together very quickly, and the process was totally different from any way I’ve ever made pudding. For one thing – no box! (Just kidding.) The biggest unexpected part of this recipe was utilizing the food processor to actually make the pudding. Very different, but fun and effective.
I had all the ingredients the recipe called for without making any special trips anywhere – the only substitutions I made were 2% milk instead of whole, and 1 oz of semi-sweet chocolate because I only had 4 oz of bittersweet on hand.
I put most of the milk and half the sugar in a pot on the stove to boil…
Combined the cornstarch, cocoa powder and salt in one bowl…
And the rest of the sugar, the egg and two yolks in another bowl…
While my bowls of melted chocolate, softened butter and vanilla waited in the wings.
As directed, I ran the cornstarch/cocoa powder/salt mixture through the food processor and then poured that out onto a piece of parchment.
Next to go into the processor were the eggs and sugar, and after they were spun around for a minute, I poured in the remaining milk…
And then the cocoa powder mixture…
Now, ordinarily when making something like this, I would figure that the next step would be to temper the egg mixture with some of the hot milk in the pot and then pour the gently-heated egg mixture into the rest of the milk and cook until it thickened.
But not this time. Instead, Dorie has you slowly pour the hot milk into the spinning food processor (okay, the contents of the bowl are spinning, not the appliance). In this way, it is apparently incorporated slowly enough so the eggs don’t cook/curdle, and this eliminates the whole tempering step. Pretty cool, actually, as long as you can pour your hot milk with a steady hand.
It makes it harder when you’re trying to pour left-handed and take a picture with the camera with your right hand. But it can be done!
(okay, it’s a bit fuzzy, but still – ACTION SHOT!)
Okay, once the milk is blended into the egg mixture (mine was very frothy)
You pour it back into the pot and whisk constantly until it begins to thicken and, to quote Dorie, “a couple of bubbles burble up to the surface and pop (about 2 minutes).” Then it’s back into the food processor for one more spin – this time you add in the vanilla and butter and melted chocolate, who have been sitting over there on the counter, watching all the fun.
Wheeee! Everybody into the pool!
(I’m sorry – I was up late last night watching the Home Run Derby and then Julia had me up very very early this morning – I tend to get a bit silly when sleep-deprived.)
Okay, so now you spin it all around again to combine
Now comes the hard part. You have to put the pudding into ramekins or cups or whatever and – put them in the fridge to chill for “at least 4 hours.” Yeah. Four. Hours. That’s what Dorie says. Clearly she is off her rocker on that point. But I’ll cut her some slack, since mostly everything else she writes makes sense.
Anyway, I chose these coffee cups instead of ramekins, and I divided the pudding into 6 cups and let them all wait on the counter while I scraped the very last bits of pudding from the inside of the processor bowl and the blade and the spatula and made sure they all ended up in my mouth. It was not a very pretty display, I’m sure, but no one was in the kitchen to witness it. (So maybe it didn’t really happen at all…)
I started putting them in the fridge, really I did, but then Miss Julia, the chocolate pudding princess, came in and saw me wiping chocolate evidence from the corner of my mouth.
“Mommy, what do you got?” She asked in her best Law & Order interrogation room tone.
“Um…chocolate pudding,” I confessed…weak-willed soul that I am.
“I want some chocolate pudding!” She shouted – a four-year-old girl once more – jumping up and down.
“Well…okay.” So I gave her a cup and warned her that it wasn’t exactly like the chocolate pudding she usually ate (she’s a milk chocolate kind of gal at this point), but she grabbed a spoon and dug in anyway.
You’ve probably guessed that she didn’t like it. Oh darn. I guess I’ll have to finish what’s in the cup. I thought it was delicious – dark and lush and smooth.
A bit later, (still not 4 hours later, though. Sorry, Dorie.) my husband was a little hungry and I asked if he wanted some chocolate pudding. Oh he sure did. With whipped cream? Yes, please! I poured some heavy cream in a bowl, got a whisk, and beat it by hand til it reached the soft peak stage.
And then I made Bill wait while I took some pictures…
And then I finally allowed Bill to snatch the cup and spoon away and sample the pudding.
1 minute and 36 seconds later…
He liked it. A lot.
If you would like to see more glorious photos of chocolate pudding, go check out the enormous list of Tuesdays With Dorie members. And if you want the recipe, go check in Melissa’s Kitchen or better yet, go buy the book!