Chocolate Pudding

8 03 2008

I was surfing around the NY Times Web site on Thursday and came across Mark Bittman’s blog post about vanilla pudding. Mark Bittman writes The Minimalist column for the Times and creates these hilarious videos on how to cook really basic, yet very delicious dishes. Check out this week’s video on octopus and last week’s Mr. Tomato-Face.

Back to the pudding, I happen to LOVE pudding usually the chocolate variety however. So the headline about vanilla pudding caught my eye. Read on, however, through the post to the comments and note the discussion about cornstarch. 

I felt compelled to weigh in on that discussion on two fronts, the pudding and the cornstarch.  I think all this jibber-jabber about cornstarch being so, so processed is much ado about nothing. I agree with the person who said that the problem is not the cornstarch, it’s the way we process it. I’ve read Michael Pollen’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, too, and totally agree that we should do whatever we can to support the concept of local sustainable farming. Yes! We need to be mindful. But let’s get a grip.

I normally make chocolate pudding which has been a huge hit with my friends and family. It’s astonishingly simple to make and is the perfect comfort food for whatever is ailing you.

I adapted this recipe from Saveur. It appeared many years ago now and was called Chocolate La Taza.

1 c milk (in whatever fat content suits your conscience and tastebuds)
2 oz bittersweet (not unsweetened or milk) chocolate (I usually use Ghiardelli or Scharfenberger)
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

Bring 3/4 c milk and chocolate to a boil. Stir to make sure chocolate is melted. Shake together remaining 1/4 c milk and cornstarch until the lumps are gone. Whisk into the hot chocolate mixture and simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Add vanilla to taste. (The higher the quality of vanilla, the better the epicurean delight.)

Let cool to room temperature and serve with whipped cream (but this is completely optional.) Usually, I can’t wait until it’s cooled to room temperature.

This recipe has nursed a friend through breast cancer and another through a kidney donation operation. Another friend request this in lieu of traditional holiday and birthday gifts.




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