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Chocolate Pudding Without A Packet

Chocolate pudding is a wonderful comfort food that few people make for themselves anymore. That’s such a shame because it is really easy, tasty and satisfying to make at home.

I know what you are thinking, why bother making pudding from scratch when I can dump and stir from a packet without any cooking at all?! I’ll tell you why, because stovetop pudding is delicious and the recipe is so easy it is like making hot chocolate with just one more ingredient and a little more stirring. Plus when you make pudding at home you get to exactly what you want – you can cut down on fat or use super premium chocolate, depending on your tastes.  And you get to enjoy pudding skin – my favorite part!

Still cold from the fridge and with pudding skin!

Still cold from the fridge and with pudding skin!

Stovetop Chocolate Pudding, adapted from Cook’s Country

(Serves 4)

3 oz dark chocolate (recommend bittersweet)
3 T cocoa
2 ½ T corn starch
1/3 c + 2 T sugar (up to ½ c if you like really sweet desserts)
Dash of salt
2 ½ c milk (whole or reduced fat – not skim)
2 t vanilla extract or other flavoring

Chop chocolate and melt in a small heat-proof bowl in the microwave, using 30 second intervals and stirring in between. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine cocoa, cornstarch, sugar and salt in heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add milk and stir to combine.

Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously, until mixture begins to bubble. Add melted chocolate and continue to stir for 2-3 more minutes. Stirring constantly is important and be sure to scrape the corners and bottom of the pan to prevent the pudding from scorching.  Pudding will be done cooking when it coats the back of a spoon and/or has very thick bubbles (like a mud pot).

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla or other flavoring – almond extract, coffee or a favorite liqueur are excellent additions.

Pour pudding into 4 individual cups or ramekins. If you don’t like skin on your pudding then cover each cup with plastic wrap, placing it directly on the surface of the pudding. (I’m a big pudding skin fan, so no wrap for me!) Place pudding cups in fridge and chill for at least 2 hours. Unwrap and enjoy.

To really gild the lily and get a textural contrast, try topping the pudding with jam or whipped cream before serving.

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