Friday, October 1, 2010

Chocolate Pudding from Scratch

photo by Anthony Palatta

When I told Anthony my dessert for this week would be chocolate pudding from scratch, he said, "You can do that?"

Oh, yes you can.  One warning:  when you taste the rich results, you may feel cheated by all those years of eating the Jell-O instant version.

I found this recipe for Milk Chocolate Pudding with Bananas in the New York Times.  I suppose you could use bittersweet, semisweet, or white chocolate too (though you might want to adjust the sugar) but I like the homey taste of milk chocolate for this one.

Begin by whisking egg yolks and milk with various dried ingredients, including cornstarch as your thickening agent. On the stove, you heat milk and cream to a simmer, then pour it over chopped milk chocolate to create a ganache that is then whisked into your egg and cornstarch mixture. The resulting combination is then cooked on the stove while stirring for about ten minutes, until it thickens. Try to keep your fire low so the pudding cooks slowly and thoroughly, and keep stirring so it doesn't scorch. If the pudding steams, take it off the fire for a little while.

After pouring it through a fine sieve, layer the pudding with banana slices, chocolate wafer cookies, and then more pudding. (You can do this in individual servings or one big bowl.) Top it off with whipped cream and crushed chocolate cookies and you'll be in rich, creamy, chocolatey dessert heaven.

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