Sunday, October 18, 2009
Old Fashioned Double Chocolate Pudding
I had the good fortune to be raised in the company of wonderful cooks. My mother, bright and beautiful, was a woman of many talents, but cooking wasn't one of them. She had ten recipes in her rotation and never met a dessert, save for her lemon pie, that didn't come from a box. Fortunately, Jello puddings became available in 1936 so we did have dessert at our table, but imagination, taste and skill were learned in other kitchens. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for the visits of my paternal grandmother, Maude, I'd probably still think pudding came from a box. Maude had raised a large, boisterous family, and while she lived with her only daughter she spent most of the year visiting the homes of her "boys." She called it taking turns. When she stayed with us, dessert was her responsibility and this pudding is based on one she taught my sister and I how to make. It really is quite lovely and vastly improved by the wonderful chocolates that are available to us now. I make the pudding with whole milk and really good chocolate. While not as smooth as a mousse, or as intensely chocolate as a pot de creme, this is, nonetheless, delicious. It's easy to do and a perfect family dessert. Here is Grandma Maude's recipe for old-fashioned double chocolate pudding.
Old Fashioned Double Chocolate Pudding...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
2 (1-oz.) squares, unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk, divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoon Dutch process cocoa powder
2 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut in small pieces
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Grate chocolate squares into top of double boiler that's been placed over simmering water. Add sugar, salt and 1-2/3 cups milk. Heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and mixture is well-blended.
2) Sift cornstarch and cocoa powder together onto a sheet of waxed paper. Add to reserved 1/3 cup milk; stir until well combined.
3) Add cocoa mixture to chocolate in double boiler. Continue to cook, stirring gently, until pudding thickens and almost mounds, about 8 minutes. Cover pan; cook without stirring for 10 minutes. Remove top of double boiler from water. Gently stir in butter. Cool for about 10 minutes before adding vanilla; stir well. Pour into dessert dishes. Cover tops with plastic wrap and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. Chill for several hours before serving. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.