January Food for Thought: The Comfort of Home Cooked Food




Chocolate pudding is a great nostalgic dessert at home or finish at the finest restaurants. Chilled chocolate pudding isn't just for snack time anymore. It belongs on menus in the finest of restaurants if it's made with passion and quality ingredients. Most of us grew up eating chocolate pudding made from a box and it was the consistency that everyone loved. It was a burst of milk chocolate flavor that was so creamy and light, not quite a mousse and not quite custard, but a classic American chocolate pudding. This homemade version I share with you has no cocoa powder or dark chocolate in the recipe, instead it is made with milk chocolate. It's very simple to prepare but requires a few minutes of stovetop cooking time, although it can be made in the microwave. This pudding looks nice served in plain or fancy glassware, but served in a coffee cup or ramekin looks good, too. To decorate, top with a generous portion of whipped cream and maybe a few chocolate shavings for color contrast. It's satisfying to see this American classic pudding still around and holding its own on today's menus. This pudding adjusts well to many grown-up variations like the addition of cinnamon or maybe a splash of rum or kahlua, or even adding a touch of espresso. However you serve it, it's still a favorite for many children of all ages and can be served as a snack if you insist. Note: Try serving small miniature chocolate chip cookies alongside this pudding, which adds crunch and texture - it's a big hit! Chocolate Pudding Yield: Serves 4 2 cups whole milk 3 egg yolks 2 level tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 cup of sugar 4 ounces of milk chocolate (chopped into small pieces) In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch together and then add 1 cup of milk and the egg yolks, whisking well until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and add the chocolate pieces. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil while whisking gently but steady. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes, gently whisking. Let cool slightly while stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, pour into appropriate serving dishes and refrigerate covered until you can't wait any longer. It's good warm. Stephen James Certified Master Baker Managing Partner Popovers on the Square Portsmouth Send comments to www.bkr155@ncia.net

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