Sunday, January 15, 2012


One of my all time favorite treats from the elementary school cafeteria was the chocolate pudding. It was a creamy chocolate delight that accompanied my chicken nuggets and soft pretzel so perfectly. It brightened my school day. Alas, my palette has changed over the years and I don't get that same joyful feeling when I see pudding. I feel it lacks flavor and depth. Quite honestly it doesn't even taste like chocolate. While it may still appeal to others, I need an alternative. I decided to create my own chocolate pudding with the flavors I love. I was inspired by the Real Simple Ultimate Chocolate Pudding and kicked it up a few notches by adding espresso and booze. What was a school favorite is now an adult indulgence.

The Ultimate Chocolate Pudding Kicked Up a Notch
{Adapted from the Ultimate Chocolate Pudding from Real Simple}

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstartch
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons instant espresso
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup Kahlua plus 1 teaspoon
2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream
2 tablespoons Kahlua
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Set up a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, instant espresso and salt.  Gradually whisk in the milk, Kahlua, and then the egg yolks. Cook the milk mixture over medium heat while whisking constantly until thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise (about 7 to 8 minutes). Continue to cook, whisking for 1 minute more. Remove from heat, pour the mixture through the sieve into the bowl. Add the butter and chocolate and stir until melted. Mix in the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of Kahlua.

Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (so it doesn't form a skin) and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.  When serving the pudding stir it up and add the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream: Combine sugar, Kahlua, and whipping cream. Use an electric mixer or whisk and whip until the mixture forms soft peaks. Add it to the top of the pudding and enjoy.

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