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Dark Chocolate Pudding

An individual serving of dark chocolate pudding in a small bowl with a spoon, topped with whipped cream and grated chocolate.

4.8 from 4 reviews

Homemade Chocolate Pudding is the unsung hero of easy-to-whip-up desserts. It's made using common kitchen ingredients, takes only about 15 minutes to put together and is ridiculously good.

Ingredients

For Dark Chocolate Pudding:

  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (either Dutch-processed or natural cocoa powder works)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt (see note)
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3-1/2 cups (790 grams) whole milk
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) chopped bittersweet/dark chocolate 
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Tangy Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup (227 grams) heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Make the Pudding:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using), and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks and about ⅓ of the milk until smooth. Whisk in the remaining milk, then stir in the chopped chocolate.
  2. Turn on the heat to medium. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly and occasionally using a rubber spatula to scrape up any thickened pudding in the edges of the pan, until the pudding has fully thickened and large bubbles are forming and popping, about 8 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, using the spatula to push all the pudding through the strainer. Whisk the butter and vanilla into the pudding until fully combined.
  4. Leave the pudding in the bowl or transfer it into individual serving containers and smooth over the top. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the pudding to prevent a "skin" from forming. Let cool to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight. 
  5. Make the Whipped Cream:
  6. When ready to serve the pudding, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the cream, sour cream, granulated sugar, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the cream has reached soft stiff peaks, scraping down the bowl halfway through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Serve the chocolate pudding cold, topped with the whipped cream. See note about other serving options.

Notes

This recipe calls for dark or bittersweet chocolate. The cacao percentage for dark chocolate can vary, but somewhere in the 60%-80% range is good. Basically, use a dark chocolate you like the taste of. 

I prefer to use Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe, for a more rounded flavor, but natural cocoa powder is also fine for deep, slightly bitter notes.

This recipe was tested using Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt. If you use Morton's kosher salt or fine salt, decrease by about half for volume, or use the same amount by weight.

The pudding can be served straight from the refrigerator after chilling. Or, it can be briefly whisked together before serving for a more creamy, airy texture.

Looking to make a pie? Check out this Chocolate Cream Pie recipe. This pudding has a slightly lower amount of cornstarch, resulting in a creamier texture compared to a pie.

Adapted from Gourmet magazine.

Keywords: Dark Chocolate Pudding