This week I asked Gus what he thought I should make for the blog. “Chocolate pudding!” Well, I aim to please! Here you go.
Just kidding. It wasn't that easy. I was annoyed at his lack of creativity. The truth is, right when I asked him, we were both coming off a high from this dairy-free quinoa pudding I had just made. I know quinoa pudding may not necessarily get you salivating, but trust me, quinoa pudding is much more delicious than it sounds. Anyway, after that successful pudding, Gus wanted more pudding. (It makes so much sense that we’re married.) And this time he wanted a really good chocolate pudding.
But I thought chocolate pudding sounded too simple. Downright boring. Sure, I’d eat a bowl of pudding any time, but that doesn’t mean it deserves blog time. Does it? According to Gus, it’s all about semantics. Enter the word “bittersweet”.
Bittersweet chocolate is categorized by having a little less sugar than semisweet and milk chocolates. Bittersweet chocolate is usually my preferred type for baking. I like to start a recipe with bittersweet and then make adjustments down the line if necessary. It gives me a little more control over the sweetness in a recipe and it seems to give my desserts a richer chocolate flavor. Of course it all depends on the brand of chocolate and the cocoa percentage. Chocolate blends vary. I usually look for something around 65% to 70%.
So of course I was planning on using bittersweet chocolate in my recipe for chocolate pudding. No-brainer. But according to Gus, indicating that my pudding would be specifically bittersweet chocolate pudding upped the appeal, made it even more special, and definitely earned it a place on the blog. That had never even occurred to me.
So here you go. I aim to please.
I still don’t know if I agree with him. But after making the pudding and tasting it, I decided that it didn’t really matter. Pudding is good. Chocolate pudding is great. This one is serious. It’s not too sweet. It’s damn rich and silky. It’s chocolate times a billion. Gus proclaimed that it is the absolute best thing I’ve ever made. I don’t exactly know how to feel about that. Something so simple? Can I be offended by a compliment? Custard may be the one thing I can actually make in my sleep. But I guess that’s a good thing since Gus has decided that bittersweet chocolate pudding makes an excellent breakfast.
Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
flaky sea salt, for serving
toffee bits, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. In a medium saucepan, bring milk and cream to a simmer over medium. Carefully ladle a little bit of the hot milk mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk to combine. Repeat this process a few times until most of the milk mixture has been incorporated. Return the yolk mixture to the saucepan.
2. Heat the custard over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4 minutes. Bring to a very low boil and cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Strain the custard into a clean bowl, whisk in the butter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold. Best eaten while wearing pajamas.