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Chocolate Pudding Question

  • j
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When I make chocolate pudding on the stove, I have been getting inconsistent results. Usually, the pudding thickens, then comes to a boil, and sets perfectly. Occasionally, however, it thickens, but doesn't come to a normal boil-it seems to bubble up, almost like scalded milk, but doesn't set and is more like thick pudding soup-still edible, but not pudding-like in consistency. I can't tell what I'm doing wrong. I read somewhere that mixing too vigorously after the cornstarch begins to thicken breaks down the starch particles. Could that be it? Thanks.

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  1. Hi--I'm no expert at food chemistry but I make chocolate pudding a lot (Mollie Katzen's recipe, which is basically milk, bittersweet chocolate chips, brown sugar, salt, flavoring, and cornstarch). It's only failed me once and that's because I forgot to double the cornstarch when I doubled the recipe. Dur.

    Do you use a double boiler? When you add the cornstarch to the mixture do you first mix it in a cup of the heated milk/chocolate before adding it to the rest of the liquid? (There's probably a better way to say that.) The pudding recipe we use never gets to a boiling point over the double boiler and it comes out fine, provided I've put in the right amount of cornstarch and de-lump it with a little liquid before adding it to the rest of the pot. There's no need to overstir if the amounts are right with Katzen's recipe.

    I'm assuming a more experienced chef-chowhound can help you with your cornstarch question, but if you want me to e-mail you the recipe privately let me know. (It's in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, and it's pretty forgiving.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Loeb

      Thanks for your response! I don't make it in a double boiler. I mix unsweetened cocoa powder, malted milk powder and a little salt in a heavy saucepan, then add milk, white sugar and chopped bittersweet chocolate and heat it. In a separate bowl, I mix cornstarch and cold milk and if I'm feeling crazy, add an egg yolk. When the chocolate has melted, I stir in the corntarch/milk mixture and stir until it thickens and then boils. I take it off the stove, add vanilla and voila, chocolate pudding soup. Only sometimes it turns into soup, though. I will try the double boiler trick. I would love to get your recipe, if you don't mind e-mailing it to me. Thanks, Julie

      1. re: Julie H.

        Malted milk powder--interesting! We'll try it. Will send the recipe on to you today.

        1. re: Julie H.

          Another couple of suggestions: 1. maybe if you tried tempering the milk/cornstarch mixture? (adding a little of the hot mixture to the cold before pouring it all into the hot) or 2. not letting it boil for very long after it thickens -- cornstarch DOES lose its thickening power if cooked too long.