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Pudding - Chocolate or otherwise

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I got a pudding craving the other night and whipped up a batch of simple chocolate pudding with what I had on hand:
1/3 c. cocoa
3 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 c. sugar
3 c. fat free milk
half a can of evaporated milk
1/2 c. grated dark chocolate (I think semi-sweet, but I don't remember for sure)
1/4 tsp vanilla

It was ok, but the chocolate flavor wasn't very pronounced and it could have been creamier. If I did it again I'd increase the amount of grated chocolate and use milk with some fat in it. (fat free was what I had, and I was not about to drive to the store at 9:30 PM for a pudding craving) Does anybody have additional suggestions for improvement or a go-to recipe? Interesting non-chocolate flavors welcome as well.

I've also been thinking about brown sugar or honey in a vanilla flavor...might give it some interesting nuances. Any thoughts?

P.S. I also get to add pudding to the list of things that I'm apparently strange for knowing how to make from scratch. When I hopped off the couch and announced that I was going to make pudding my boyfriend stared at me and said, "We don't have any pudding." He had never heard of somebody making pudding out of something other than a box of pudding mix.

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  1. Definitely fat free milk won't give it the creaminess (a little butter might have helped). Use good quality cocoa and dark chocolate. Also, maybe a recipe that uses eggs, something like this:

    http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChocolateP...

    I think you need fat for that creaminess. I'm not a fan of fat-free cooking because of that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      That's what I figured...I wish I had thought to add butter. That's a good suggestion for future unplanned dairy adventures. That I keep on hand, unlike any sort of full-fat liquid milk product. I don't go through milk fast enough to have multiple varieties on hand, and I like fat free to drink and in my cereal but whole milk to cook with. It's a problem, but fat free almost always wins.

      But thank you for the recipe link! I actually started out planning to make a thick 'chocolate custard' and just call it pudding, but I decided that we too much to deal with at that hour for a fleeting craving. Next time I make pudding with any sort of advance planning I'll try that one.

      1. re: wawajb

        There was a good thread on pudding a few weeks ago.

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/37356...

        1. re: Densible

          Great. thanks densible. the search function is so hit or miss that it's barely worth using.

    2. I don't think there's better--or easier to make-- choc. pudding in the world than the simple old recipe on the Minute Tapioca box.

      Don't do the "Fluffy" stuff on the back, look on the side of the box at the very bottom and follow the directions for the "Chocolate" variation on the basic recipe.

      When it's come to the full boil, take it off the heat, add a tsp. or two of good Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract and a walnut-size lump of butter, stir in gently, let cool.

      I generally make it with 2% milk since that's what I drink. I like to make one of the3 sqs. of chocolate bittersweet.

      I love all pudding best cold (topped w/whipped cream of course. The Land O' Lakes aerosol whipped cream w/Splenda is excellent. But none of the brands have enough carbs to worry about anyway, if that's a concern.)