When I was thinking about the perfect desserts for the Apps & Alcohol Party, I wanted small individual desserts just like the appetizers themselves: small bites that were absolutely delicious. Really good dark chocolate pudding seemed like the perfect idea.
So the next question was which recipe to use. I was reading lots of recipes and they all basically included chocolate, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla and eggs. The tricky part was mixing in the eggs without curdling (separation of eggs). As I was pondering this, my adopted daughter Vera said, “What does Alice have to say about this?” The Alice she was referring to is Alice Medrich. Understand neither of us has ever met Alice, but we consider her our go-to person for everything chocolate and most things dessert related.
I bought her book Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts when it first came out and have loved every recipe I tried. So we consulted Alice who had a recipe that omitted the eggs — and seemed like a must-try. Alice came through again.
This pudding is luscious, rich and with intense chocolate goodness. I decided to serve it in small espresso cups. (They are the same ones I used last month for soup and worth buying. They’re available at my Amazon Affiliate Store.) When I reread the recipe, I saw that as a side note, Alice suggested serving the pudding in a demitasse. Once again, Alice and I are on the same page.
If you don’t have her book, find it on Amazon or in my Amazon Affiliate Store. You won’t be sorry!
Here it is, directly from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich. As Alice says, use really good chocolate. It makes a difference!
EVENT: Apps & Alcohol
SERVES: Approximately 8 – 10 People
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces) sugar
1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 to 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use the lesser amount for chocolate in the 66% to 70% cacao range and the full 4 ounces for chocolate closer to 60%), very finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum (optiona)
For the topping (optional)
1 cup heavy cream, for pouring, or Lightly Sweetened Whipped Cream or creme fraiche
8-10 espresso cups 2-oz. capacity (available at my Amazon Affiliate Store)
1. Whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt together in a heavy medium saucepan.
2. Add about 3 tablespoons of the milk and whisk to form a smooth paste.
3. Whisk in the remaining milk and the cream.
4. Using a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom, sides, and corners of the pan, until the pudding thickens and begins to bubble at the edges, about 5 minutes.
5. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minute, then add the chocolate and stir briskly until the chocolate is melted and the pudding is smooth, about 30 seconds longer.
6. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and rum, if using.
7. Divide the pudding among the cups or ramekins. (I love skin on pudding, so I wouldn’t dream of pressing a piece of plastic wrap on the surface for later removal, and you needn’t tell me if you do.) Serve warm or at room temperature or chilled. The pudding can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
A NOTE: Serve with poured cream or whipped cream or creme fraiche, if desired.