The Proof of the Pudding is in the Eating: Happy National Chocolate Pudding Day!

Kathey Jo’s Kitchen is here to tell you all about chocolate pudding. Did you know that it originated from the British Isles, and originated in the late 16th century? It’s a dish to one can make on short notice. The ingredients vary and are versatile at the same time. When introduced to discerning British tongues, it was made up of a sweetened porridge made from flour, tapioca or oatmeal, and milk.

In Colonial America, cornmeal was more readily available and cheaper to boot. It took on the name of hasty pudding and consisted of cornmeal mush (meaning the cornmeal was added to boiling water and cooked) with molasses, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup, and milk.

There are two kinds of puddings: a meat pudding is an example of a savory dish, while in America, it’s mostly known as a dessert.

Do you have a favorite pudding recipe? Feel free to share it in the comments, and I’m going to share with you a couple of my favorites below!

Silky Chocolate Pudding

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/2 oz. (6 Tbs.) Dutch processed or natural cocoa powder
  • 1 oz. (3 Tbs.) cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Two large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sift the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt into a medium bowl. With a silicone spatula or whisk, slowly mix in the cream, eliminating any visible lumps as you go; the mixture will be quite thick. Mix in the egg yolks until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat the milk and sugar in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, often stirring with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, until the sugar dissolves. When bubbles form around the edge of the milk, remove the pan from the heat. Whisk about half of the hot milk into the cocoa mixture. When smooth, whisk it into the remaining milk in the saucepan.
  3. Bring the pudding to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking slowly and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. The pudding will begin to thicken as it approaches a full boil. Watch for large, lava-like bubbles to roll up to the surface, and for small, fast bubbles on the edges. When the pudding has reached this stage, turn the heat down to medium and whisk vigorously for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Whisk in the vanilla. Transfer the pudding to a shallow container (such as an 8-inch baking dish) and spread it evenly, then press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
  5. Whisk vigorously to loosen the pudding before serving.

Dark Chocolate Pudding

INGREDIENTS

  • large egg, plus two yolks
  • 6 ounces/170 grams bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • tablespoons/30 grams softened, unsalted butter
  • teaspoon/5 milliliters vanilla extract
  • ½ cups/590 milliliters whole milk
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup/67 grams light or dark brown sugar
  • tablespoons/15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • tablespoons/20 grams cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon/2 grams fine sea salt
  • Whipped cream or crème Fraiche, for serving
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together egg and yolks. Set aside.
  2. Place chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender but don’t turn on.
  3. In a medium pot, whisk together milk, cream, brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt until smooth. Bring to a full boil, whisking, and let bubble for 1 to 2 minutes to activate cornstarch. At that point, it will start to thicken, and when it does immediately pull the pot off the heat. (You don’t want to overboil the cornstarch, which can cause it to thin out again.)
  4. Pour a little of the hot cornstarch mixture into the eggs, continually stirring to prevent them from curdling, then pour eggs back into the pan with the remaining cornstarch mixture. Cook over low heat, frequently whisking, until mixture returns to a bare simmer (one bubble is plenty). Immediately pour into the food processor or blender. Run the machine until the pudding is very smooth (the hot milk mixture will melt the chocolate).
  5. Pour into individual bowls or teacups or 1 large decorative bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 4 hours for different servings and as many as 8 hours for one large bowl. Pudding can be made three days ahead. Serve with whipped cream or whipped crème Fraiche, decorated with chocolate shavings and a pinch of sea salt, if you like.

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