Last week I shared a bit of savory nostalgia, so it only seemed fitting that I share dessert here today. . .
. . . a combination of two of my favorite things. . .
. . . rich chocolate pudding. . .
. . . and just a hint. . .
. . . of something spicy and exotic. So. Very. Good.
Spiced Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from the Tartine Cookbook
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- cayenne pepper to taste
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
When I first met my husband, he made the most amazing spiced hot chocolate for me, with real chocolate, milk heated on the stove, and he even tossed it all in the blender to make it light and frothy. Needless to say, he far exceeded my college boy expectations (particularly considering my previous boyfriends had trouble remembering to wear clean socks). Then years later, when we lived in San Francisco, I fell in love with the chocolate pudding from Tartine Bakery. This recipe takes those two flavors and melds them into one, beautiful, silky pudding that is not too sweet and not too spicy, but just enough of each to send your taste buds on an adventure and to send me back in time to some of my favorite moments.
In a bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch and chocolate. Whisk until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and salt then slowly add the sugar mixture.
On the stove top, heat the milk and cream until just below a boil. Slowly pour half of the heated cream and milk into the eggs and sugar, stirring constantly. Then, pour everything back into the pot with the remainder of the cream and milk. Continue heating over medium heat whisking constantly until the pudding begins to thicken (about 5-7 minutes) and reaches a temperature of 208 degrees on a thermometer.
*If you'd like to double down on the silkiness, you could pour the pudding through a fine strainer at this point. I didn't find that necessary with the amount of blending that was about to take place.
Remove from heat and add the chopped bittersweet chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted blend with an immersion blender (or standard blender) for 2 minutes. Add the cinnamon and a bit of cayenne. Blend for another minute. Add more cayenne if desired and blend a final two minutes. It should be a full 5 minutes of blending (this is what gives it its silky texture).
*If you are making this for your kiddos, you can skip the cayenne or add just the smallest amount for flavor without noticeable heat.
Pour into ramekins or your favorite containers and chill until set.
When ready to serve, whip the cream and place a generous dollop on each portion, then do your best not to eat them all before your friends come over.
With the Kids:
*Last time in Recipes: Gorgonzola Gnocchi