Dinner-and-a-Movie Chocolate Pudding

  Most Friday nights, Katrina and I have a stay-at-home candlelight dinner followed by a movie. Last night it was the romantic comedy, Leap Year, set in Ireland, but the week before it was the Bourne Identity, set largely in France.  Anyway, I’ve been tinkering with an easy from-scratch chocolate pudding and finally have it the way I like it. Once you try it, you’ll throw away all the boxed puddings in your pantry. It’s egg-less; the cornstarch is the thickening agent. This is quick, easy, rich, and a perfect ending to a date-night dinner. The original recipe came from an old edition of Bon Appétit Magazine, but here’s the recipe with a few modifications. It makes four servings.

Combine in a saucepan over medium heat:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2  tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt

Gradually add:

  • 2 cups of milk (whole milk is better but sometimes I only have skim)
  • 2 tablespoons of the coffee left in the pot from breakfast

Whisk over the heat until the pudding is bubbling some, then reduce heat and continue whisking until it thickens. Remove from heat and add:

  • 2 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (broken or chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Whisk until chocolate melts and pudding is smooth. Divide between four desert dishes. Let cool, or put in refrigerator, or even serve it warm. To quick-chill it, you can put it in the freezer for about 20 minutes, but don’t forget it.

Top with whipped cream.