Yesterday afternoon, i wanted to make something chocolaty to go with my shepherd's pie, so i decided on pudding. Usually i keep a box in the cupboard, but i checked and was out of luck, and it was after five, to late to run to the store. Last week, i had been looking for vanilla pudding recipes for a potluck, i eventually went in another direction, but remembered the recipe i found looked simple. So, i did another internet search for chocolate pudding, and found this one on all recipes. I have mentioned before that i like all recipes because you can pump in how many you are serving and it will change the amounts of ingredients, no math involved on my part. The recipe was for four servings, and i only wanted two, so i used their fancy recipe calculator and cut it in half. This is the original recipe that serves four:
Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding.
1/2 cup white sugar.
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.
1/4 cup cornstarch.
1/8 teaspoon salt.
2 + 3/4 cups milk.
2 tablespoons margarine or butter.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Place over medium heat, and stir in milk. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
Remove from heat, and stir in margarine and vanilla. Let cool briefly, and serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.
I made two mistakes. One was i did not constantly stir it. I walked away for two minutes, and a layer of chocolate ended up settling. It still tasted chocolaty, but it had a slight burnt undertone. Also, a lot of pudding recipes state to put a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. You can see this skin on the above picture. it is the darker middle (my guest thought it was the best part). The half recipe filled two 1 cup ramekins about 3/4 full with this little bit left over, about a quarter cup.
I whisked together the dry ingredients and then added the milk, whisked it in good an then turned on the heat. The secret to non-lumpy gravy is mixing the flour with cold, not hot, water; so i figured it would be the same with pudding. I made sure everything was well incorporated before putting the heat to it.
It took between 5 and 10 minutes to get to this stage, with the thick scum at the bottom because i had stepped away. I let it cool for a few minutes before putting it into the bowls. Thankfully, the pot only needed a soak for a but, then the scum scraped right off with a rubber spatula. I think the pudding could have set up a bit firmer, it was set, but still a bit jiggly, it reminded me of Jell-o the way it moved when i tipped the dish. I learned my lesson for the next time...if it says stir constantly, it means stir constantly!!!