Chocolate pudding is the most comforting dessert I can think of. Could it be the “ah, mine!” factor of the individual portions? The “feel good” chemical components in the chocolate? The silky texture? While visiting Charleston last fall, E got to try Hominy Grill’s famous chocolate pudding. I bought the restaurant’s recipe booklet, and after we returned home every other week I would hear “when are you making the pudding?”. Last Sunday we had dinner over at our friends’ house and since it was my turn to bring dessert, I got around it. I even splurged on “good” chocolate for them.
It wasn’t stovetop pudding – more like a baked custard. A likely overbaked custard, unfortunately. The recipe called for baking the pudding cups on a double boiler for an hour. I checked similar recipes in other books and the baking time was closer to the forty minute mark. The flavor was great, contrasted by home-whipped cream, but I was a little underwhelmed by the texture. Letting it rest at room temperature for a little while before serving helped.
Ah, restaurant cookbooks – do you trust them? Have you ever had the expected results at home trying to recreate the experience?
No offense to baked chocolate pudding, but I think stovetop is the way to go. This New Year’s Eve, I whipped up half a batch of Dorie Greenspan’s version from the Baking book. It was happiness in a sundae glass. Smooth, silky and the perfect companion to a glass of wine. There were probably more dirty dishes in the process, but that’s a small price to pay for such a sweet indulgence.
Click here for the Hominy Grill chocolate pudding recipe.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 3 servings
- 1 cups + 2 tablespoons whole milkb
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons beaten egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and still warm
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Bring 1 cups of the milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
While the milk is heating, in a food processor blend the cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Empty this mixture onto a piece of wax paper, put the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the egg and egg yolks into the processor and blend for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of milk and pulse just to mix. Add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend.
With the machine running, very slowly pour in the hot milk mixture. Process for a few seconds, then put everything back into the saucepan. Whisk without stopping over medium heat until the pudding thickens and a couple of bubbles burble up to the surface and pop (about 2 minutes). The pudding should not boil, so lower the heat if necessary. Transfer the pudding back into the processor and pulse a couple of times. Add the chocolate, butter and vanilla and pulse until everything is evenly blended.
Pour the pudding into ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.