Chocolate pudding needn't come in a box or a tub! Much like pancakes, somehow the food industry has convinced many people that this relatively easy-to-make treat requires way more skill and time that the average person could dream to muster. Nothing could be further from the truth. This recipe is an easy way to make your own wholesome, homemade old-fashioned chocolate pudding. It needs time to chill after you make it, so be sure to factor that in if you're making it for a party.
Want your pudding extra chocolate-y? Simply stir in the optional melted chocolate at the end. Want to dress it up? Dollop on a bit of freshly whipped whipped cream. Make things a bit more adult by stirring in 2 tablespoons of amaretti or brandy before serving.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch. Whisk in about 3/4 cup of the milk. Whisk it until it is completely and utterly smooth and all the cocoa and cornstarch are fully dissolved into the milk. It should look like a very smooth brown paste. Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk again until everything is totally and completely combined. Now whisk in the remaining milk.
- Put the pot on the stove over low heat. Cook, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and scraping the bottom and edges and corners of the pan to keep bits of the mixture from thickening unevenly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon (or side of the spatula). This will take about 15 minutes. You want to cook the mixture slowly so the eggs don’t overcook and curdle into chunks (if they start to separate out, take the pot off the heat, add about 1 tablespoon of butter, and whisk like mad to re-incorporate everything; this may save things). If nothing is happening you may need to increase the heat – just teeny tiny bits at a time – to get the mixture to thicken up properly.
- Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla and the melted chocolate, if using.
- Transfer the mixture to individual serving bowls or a single large bowl. Cover the surface of each pudding with plastic wrap or waxed paper (press the wrap onto the surface to keep a skin from forming on the pudding) and chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Serve chilled or allow to come to room temperature.
* To melt the chocolate: Finely chop the chocolate and put it in a small metal bowl; put water in a small frying pan and bring it to a boil; take off the heat, set the bowl of chocolate in the hot water, and let sit until the chocolate starts to melt; stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Or, put the finely chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and microwave, in 10-second bursts, until the chocolate is melted.