Making Chocolate Pudding

If I were to give this a name, I’d call it serious, I-ain’t-playin’-no-games chocolate pudding. Unlike conventional American-style chocolate puddings it has bar chocolate mixed into it, which gives it extra body and deeper chocolate flavor. It’s not chocolate-mousse-thick, it’s much lighter than chocolate mousse, but you know when you take your first spoonful: there’s real chocolate in there. Start by assembling your ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients in a small saucepan.


Chocolate Pudding Recipe

This pudding has extra chocolate as requested (repeatedly) by reader Glenn. It’s no more difficult to make than the vanilla version, and yields a silky and delicious product that you’ll end up hiding from your kids. You’ll need:

1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
1.25 ounces (2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons) cornstarch
1/2 ounce (2 tablespoons, 1 teaspoon) cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk
2 egg yolks
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Making Rice Pudding

Americans often have a tough time making rice pudding since our long grain rice tends not to bake up well when it’s added to custard in its raw state. The solution: make rice pudding with cooked rice. The result is every bit as delicious, plus it’s convenient if you order out a lot of Chinese food. The individual rice grains tend to maintain their integrity at bit more — i.e. are a bit chewier — but I like the contrast. Here I should note that everyone has their own favorite version from childhood. I’m not putting this forward as the standard by which all rice puddings should be judged. It happens to be one I like.


Rice Pudding Recipe

Like all custards rice pudding can be either stirred (made on the stovetop in a saucepan) or still (baked in a dish in the oven). Personally I like a baked rice pudding since you get a greater variety of textures: a browned top, moist center, firm sides…oh yes much more interesting than a typical stirred pudding. The recipe goes like this:

2 eggs
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3.5 ounces (1/2 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest (optional)
7.5 ounces (1 1/2 cups) cooked rice
2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) raisins
cinnamon for dusting


Simple Vanilla Custard (Pudding)

Everyone should have a simple stirred custard recipe handy. In America we call this sort of cornstarch-thickened mixture “pudding.” It’s terrific for eating just as it is, but it can also be used as a thick sauce for, well, whatever. This recipe is sort of a “pastry cream light.” It’s not as sweet as most pastry creams, nor as rich in cream or egg yolks, but it does have a dab of butter for sheen.