Cook's published a recipe in 1999 for double chocolate pudding and this is my go-to recipe. Interestingly, they just published another chocolate pudding recipe in the Sep/Oct 2011 issue in which they made no mention of their prior effort. I find this silly, as long-time readers are quite likely to remember that they've covered the topic before. I have no quarrel with re-visiting recipes, but instead of pretending it's not an update, I wish they'd give me some analysis of what qualities that Recipe A has that Recipe B doesn't, and vice versa. To insist that there is only one definitive recipe for any dish leaves no room for different tastes. I don't know if I'll try the 2011 version. It has 2 oz. less bittersweet chocolate and 1 TBSP more cocoa powder. I thought the original 1999 recipe was plenty creamy so I'll likely stick with that. Or, I might do a side-by-side tasting and complete my own analysis of the pros and cons of each version.
This pudding is particularly nice accompanied by raspberries.
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (we use Theo)
2 TBSP cocoa powder (Cook's specifies Dutch-process, but I use whatever I've got)
2 TBSP cornstarch
2/3 c evaporated cane juice sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 c cream
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 c 2% milk (or whatever you've got, the end result will just be creamier or less creamy)
1 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
- I like using the microwave to melt the chocolate, but you can use a double boiler if you prefer. To use the microwave, break the chocolate into evenly-sized pieces and put in a glass bowl. Microwave on 50% power for 3 1/2 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. If after the full time the chocolate is still not fully melted, microwave on 50% power up to another 30 seconds. Set aside melted chocolate to cool slightly
- Sift the cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch and salt together into the bottom of a heavy medium-sized saucepan. I like our 3 qt. pan.
- With the heat off, slowly whisk in the cream, eggs yolks and, lastly, the milk. Then stir in the chocolate. Expect clumps.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and making sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. The chocolate clumps will even out with heat.
- When the pudding darkens and thickens, reduce heat to medium and stir until the pudding very thickly coats a spoon (about 200 degrees F). This should take only a minute or two.
- Put the pudding through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Stir the butter and vanilla into the pudding in the bowl (discard any residue in the strainer)
- Gently apply some parchment paper to the top of the pudding to help avoid it forming a skin
- Cool 30 minutes and then refrigerate until serving