Chocolate pudding is one of those foods I associate with childhood. Growing up, my mom would make pudding for us using the box mix. Sometimes she made instant pudding. That was fun because it required putting the pudding mixture in a sealed container and shaking the daylights out of it to mix it up. (At least that’s how we did it when I was helping.) More often, Mom made the kind you had to cook and then let chill. That was also fun because we never put plastic wrap on the top of the pudding cups so they got a nice thick film. (Am I the only one who thinks it’s fun to eat pudding skin?)
I never was into the pudding cups you could buy at the store. My mom’s “homemade” pudding seemed far superior in taste. Plus I was weirded out by the idea of pudding that didn’t need to be refrigerated. That went against everything I knew about dairy products at that point in my life. (Shelf-stable boxed milk would have probably blown my mind.) Homemade pudding from scratch was not something I knew anything about as a kid. As an adult, I knew you could make pudding yourself, but I’d never tried it. Over the past couple of years, I’ve saved several pudding recipes to try. For whatever reason, I’ve never gotten around to making any of them. The other night however, I was having a serious sweets craving. Stan was at the store getting groceries, and while I’d texted him a request for ice cream, I had my suspicions he wouldn’t remember to bring any home. (I was right.) I didn’t want to take any chances, so I went looking for the chocolate pudding recipe I knew I had stored away.
And I gotta say… I’m glad Stan forgot the ice cream because homemade chocolate pudding rocks. It is richer and more chocolaty and more decadent than anything you can made from a box mix. And much to my very happy surprise, homemade chocolate pudding is just about as easy to make as the pudding you cook from a box. All you have to do is whisk a few things together, heat everything up, and whisk a little more. See? Easy. Perhaps the very best part about scratch-made pudding is that you probably already have all of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry so you can make it anytime you have a craving. And I suspect you’ll be having lots of cravings once you have a taste of this homemade pudding.
Adapted from Simply Recipes
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 cups milk (I used skim with great results)
1 large egg
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. (If your cocoa powder or cornstarch are particularly clumpy, you can sift them to prevent lumps in your pudding.) Slowly whisk in the milk.
Bring the pudding to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the pudding boils, whisk constantly until the pudding thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. (Turn down the heat, if necessary, to prevent the pudding from boiling over.) Remove the pudding from the heat and slowly add to the egg, whisking constantly to prevent the egg from scrambling.
Whisk in the chocolate chips. Continue whisking until the chocolate chips are melted and the pudding is smooth.
Pour the pudding into ramekins or cups. Place a piece of wax paper directly onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming, if desired. Refrigerate the pudding for at least 2 hours, or until chilled.Serves 4.