I grew up on packaged instant pudding, and that was fine for the first 20 years of my life. Then I tasted the homemade stuff during my tenure at Gramercy Tavern. My world was forever changed. It’s no surprise this Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding is one of the first desserts I began making at the restaurant in Hudson when I started there a few months ago.
I realize as we turn our thoughts to swimsuit season, pudding is probably the last thing on your mind. I felt the same way a few weeks ago as I prepared for our trip to Florida. Life is too short to sweat this stuff, though, and I think everything is fine in moderation.
This recipe might look familiar if you ordered the spring issue of Simple Scratch Cooking two years ago. It’s been a long time, I know, since the last issue was released. I’m not completely sure when, or even if, that will happen. Homeschooling took over a big chunk of my time these last nice months, and any free time I had was devoted to working on a big cookbook project I delivered in March. Another ghost development project, of which I’m very proud, and will let you know when I have more information to share about it.
But back to this Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding. Making pudding isn’t difficult, but it is the kind of recipe that requires some patience.
Ever wonder why pudding recipes call for stirring some of the hot milk into the eggs before adding them to the pan? The process is referred to as tempering, and it’s a technique used to gently cook the egg yolks. Don’t be tempted to skip this important step, or your yolks will likely curdle or scramble in to the milk mixture, resulting in a loss of time and ingredients.
Patience is also key in making pudding, especially if you decide to double the recipe, which I do often at the restaurant. At first, it’ll seem the pudding isn’t thickening, and then presto, it’s perfect. That moment really does seem to happen instantly, but it’s patience that yields the reward.
I’ve been known to layer this with some homemade caramel sauce. Candied pistachios make a great topping, too. Perhaps I’ll share the recipe for making those one day soon. And I’m tempted to say whipped cream is optional, but no sense in kidding ourselves, right? Try my Orange Scented Whipped Cream or Violet Scented Whipped Cream for extra oomph.
Eight Years Ago: Classic Sangria
Seven Years Ago: Whole Grain Pizza
Six Years Ago: Dairy-Free Carrot Cupcakes
Five Years Ago: Crispy Chewy Walnut Cookies
Four Years Ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble
Three Years Ago: Eating Our Way Through Philly
Two Years Ago: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
One Year Ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita
Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding
- 2 cups (.5L) whole or 2% milk, divided
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
- ⅓ cup (66 grams) dark cocoa powder (also called black cocoa)
- 2 teaspoons (10 m) vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) fleur de sel
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon (10 grams) cornstarch
- Add 1½ cups (355 ml) of milk, the sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and fleur de sel to a 2-quart pot. Whisk to combine. Turn the heat to medium-high, and cook just until it comes to a simmer (little bubbles will pop to the surface). This will take a few minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the remaining milk, egg yolks, and cornstarch to a small bowl. Whisk together to combine. While whisking constantly, slowly pour about a ½ cup of the milk-cocoa mixture into the egg mixture.
- Pour the egg mixture back into the pot, and turn the heat back on to medium. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes more.
- At this point you can divide the pudding into individual ramekins, or transfer it all to a deep bowl. Cover the ramekins or bowl with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic wrap on top of the pudding so a “skin” doesn’t form. Place in the fridge, and let chill six hours, or overnight.