Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding

You don’t need me to tell you how to make pudding. You might need me to tell you how to make French macarons, and tell you that tights are not pants, no matter how functional and/or comfortable they may be as leg coverings. Pudding, though…you’ve undoubtedly got that one covered.

Maybe I just need to remind myself how to make pudding. Or to remind myself to actually make pudding.

And then I thought, if I need a reminder to make pudding, maybe you also need a reminder to make pudding. Because with so many amazing dessert recipes out there to try, who says “maybe I should just make pudding?”

Chocolate Pudding

So let’s make pudding.

And I’m not talking about Jell-O Instant Pudding, which, yes, is delicious in its own right. I’m talking about real, homemade pudding. With sugar and milk and chocolate. The kind of pudding that your grandmother used to make for your mother. The kind of pudding that makes you wait three hours for it to set. The kind of pudding that reminds you of evenings around the family dinner table and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and catching fireflies at dusk.

Real pudding.

Chocolate Pudding

It’s been so long since I’ve made real pudding that I completely forgot just how easy it is. This recipe requires only six –count them, six– ingredients. (Well, seven if you’re adding whipped cream on top. Which you absolutely should do.) You probably already have them in your kitchen. And it only takes 15 minutes to prep.

Easy peasy.

So why, exactly, don’t I make pudding more often? It you would be so kind as to send me a bimonthly reminder to make pudding, I would be forever grateful. Please and thank you.

Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding
Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Active time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 2-3 hours
Serves 6

Ingredients
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 cup good chocolate chips)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk, in a thin stream at first so that lumps don’t form, then more quickly once the cornstarch mixture is smoothly incorporated. Place over medium-low heat and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary, should lumps begin to form. After 10 minutes or so (slower over lower heat is better, to give the cornstarch time to cook), before it starts to simmer, the mixture should begin to thicken, enough that it will coat the back of a spoon. Add the chocolate, and continue stirring for another 2 to 4 minutes, until chocolate is fully incorporated and mixture is quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

If you’re concerned about lumps, run mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.

Distribute among individual pudding cups or one large serving bowl. Put plastic on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Chill until it is cool and set, about 2 to 3 hours. Pudding will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Note: You absolutely should serve this pudding with some homemade whipped cream. Just add heavy cream (and sugar to taste) to your stand mixer and whisk until the cream forms soft peaks. Perfection.

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