deep dark chocolate pudding

it’s time for some dessert! i was really good this week and stocked our fridge and pantry with all sorts of fresh, wholesome groceries. sun-dried tomatoes and garlic for a quick pasta, bananas to slice over greek yogurt and honey for a healthy breakfast, a super-fancy bottle of super-orangey orange juice—heck, i even brought home a head of broccoli, chopped it into florets, and steamed it to have veggies with dinner. i can’t remember the last time i worked vegetables into a meal… on purpose. (oh wait, i do: it was four long months ago.)

as a reward for all this good behavior, i made chocolate pudding. it got stirred together all silky smooth over the stove, and was chilled and ready to eat (with a spoon in one hand and a can of whipped cream in the other) in no time at all.

the most daunting aspect of the whole recipe is honestly just mustering up the energy to chop up some good-quality chocolate. if you can get over that part, you’ll see real fast why there’s no need to ever reach for those grocery store pudding packs again.

Deep Dark Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from John Scharffenberger
via The Wednesday Chef and Smitten Kitchen
Serves 6 

¼ cup cornstarch

1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups milk
6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped {I used about 14 squares from a Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bar}
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. {If using 2% or 1% milk, skip double boiler and simmer on low-medium heat.} Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form.
  2. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  3. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes.
  4. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for individual servings {a bowlful will take a few hours to firm up and fully chill} and up to 3 days.

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