Chocolate Pudding

I was in the grocery store last week and saw boxes of pudding mix on the shelf.  I confess, I was actually enticed to choose one (chocolate) and put it in the cart.  15 seconds later it hit me.  I had just put a box mix in my cart.  Just before putting it back on the shelf I read the ingredients:  Cane sugar, corn starch, cocoa, salt.  The only thing it needed was…. milk.  All things I have right now, at home.  Instead of paying $2 for the box mix I think it cost me $1 to make at home (90% of that is just the eggs).

I did some searching online and settled on this Tyler Florence recipe from Food Network.  It used 2 additional ingredients, egg yolks and vanilla.  I just realized I’m missing sugar from the picture below.  I blame my photographer.  But don’t worry, I did indeed use sugar in my pudding.

Ingredients

The first step is to basically make hot chocolate: milk + sugar + cocoa.  Bring that to a simmer (not boiling).

Hot chocolate

The corn starch, egg yolks, vanilla, more milk, salt are then combined to make the thickening agent.
Egg mixture

You slowly combine the hot chocolate with the egg mixture.  Pouring the mixture slowly and whisking the entire time to bring the egg mixture up to temperature to avoid scrambling the eggs.
Combining

Then the mixture is put back onto the stove for ~10 minutes (simmering) until it thickens.  Then pour into serving dishes and refrigerate for a few hours.  You can leave them uncovered for 1.5 hours but then you want to cover in plastic wrap to avoid the top layer “skin” effect.
Poured

After 4 hours (or more) for chilling it’s ready to eat.  You can eat it as is or add a little whip cream on top.

Finished Product

For those of you who just thought of Cool Whip when I said whip cream, you’d be horribly, horribly wrong.  Whip cream = Heavy Whipping Cream + Air (and maybe some sugar).    To learn just how horrible Cool Whip is watch this video or read this article.

My assessment of the final product is that 1) it was really sweet, and 2) heavy on the chocolate.   Next time I’ll cut down on the amount of sugar and cocoa.  The whip cream turned out great, it’s hard to go wrong with 3 ingredients where one of them is air.

In closing, make everything you can from scratch and avoid the trap of box mixes. Whatever you can buy you can make yourself.

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