Two years ago, before I started really cooking, I would have been completely satisfied ripping open a package of Jello powdered pudding, adding some milk and calling it dessert.
Now, I'm much more interested in what I'm eating. I'm finding the more I cook, the less interested I am in pre-packaged foods. Without even thinking, I've stopped eating Kraft Dinner (which I honestly used to love), canned soup, salad dressing, pre-made oatmeal -- all in favour of making these foods myself. I enjoy knowing what's going into my food and trying to make it as fresh as possible.
One more step in that was making this decadent chocolate pudding. Making it from scratch can't even compare to a package. The flavour is richer and more choclatey, the texture is thicker and dense. And, most surprisingly, I felt much more satisfied after a single serving than I would have with a whole box of packaged stuff (not that I ever ate a whole box...). So I'm finding that I'm not only enjoying the process of cooking more, but I am certainly enjoying the results!
What do you make from scratch that you used to buy pre-made?
Decadent Chocolate Pudding
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolks and pour in 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk until combined.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining two cups of mils and the heavy cream over medium heat until the mixture just comes to a boil. Slowly whisk the milk mixture into the cocoa mixture.
- Rinse out the saucepan (but don't dry to avoid scorching) and return custard mixture to the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard has thickened slightly (Martha said until about the consistency of mayonnaise, but mine never got that thick and turned out great). Do not let it boil and don't worry if lumps form.
- Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Add the chopped chocolate in two batches, stirring until thoroughly melted after each addition.
- Divide the pudding among six ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least four hours or overnight before serving.
- Garnish with whipped cream if desired.
Recipe from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics