Chocolate pudding. It is smooth, creamy and comforting and just one bite brings me back to my childhood. Growing up, however, instant J-ello pudding was all the rage. Simply add milk, stir and dessert was ready. Fortunately my taste buds and preferences have changed a lot over the years and now instant pudding simply won’t cut it. Actually any pudding from a box isn’t up to snuff but when real, cooked from scratch pudding is so easy, why would you even need the box?
This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen and is rich and flavorful and is fast to make. Because there are so few ingredients, be sure to use the best ones you can find. I’m partial to using a combination of chocolates because I think it creates a more complex flavor profile. Or you can use a single type; the choice is yours. I’ve also used coconut milk as the base of my pudding but a whole cow’s milk can be used instead. Either way you will be rewarded with a rich and not too sweet pudding that will bring you back to your childhood as well.
SILKY RICH COCONUT MILK CHOCOLATE PUDDING
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups coconut milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extact
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt.
- Slowly whisk in the coconut milk, in a thin steam at first so that lumps don’t form, then more quickly once the cornstarch mixture is smoothly incorporated.
- Place the mixture over medium-low heat and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form.
- After approximately 15 minutes, before it starts to simmer, the mixture should begin to thicken, enough that it will coat the back of a spoon.
- Stir in the chocolates, and continue stirring for another 2 to 4 minutes, until chocolate is fully incorporated and mixture is quite thick.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
- To prevent a film from forming on top of the pudding, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding surface.
I love Nutella. There is just something about that creamy chocolate – hazelnut spread that is simply delicious. I’ve been known to slather it on toast or even eat it by the spoonful right from the jar. But it is also a wonderful ingredient to cook with, taking baked goods from ordinary to extraordinary. I’m also a huge fan of coconut and cooking with coconut milk. It is rich and flavorful, providing dishes with a subtle sweetness and baked goods with a moist and slightly tropical consistency that you simply can’t get from other types of milk.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup Nutella, slightly warmed until easily spreadable
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Up to 4 tablespoons coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 9 x 5 x 2.75 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate bowl beat egg with a fork and stir in melted butter and coconut milk.
- Pour egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just enough to combine. Fold in flaked coconut.
- Spoon one third of the batter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Add half the Nutella, covering the batter as best you can without mixing the two together.
- Add another 1/3 of the batter and cover Nutella completely. Finish with the other half of the Nutella and then more batter to top it off.
- Use a table knife and stick it down, all the way through the batter at one end of the loaf pan. Work your way from one side of the pan to the other in a zigzag motion. Make just one pass for the swirl effect.
- Bake 55-65 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Let cool 20 minutes in pan before flipping over and letting cool completely.
- For the glaze, add confectioners’ sugar to a medium sized bowl and start with 2 tablespoons of milk poured into the sugar. Mix until it is a thick, pourable glaze, adding more milk as necessary in order to achieve the right consistency.
- Pour over bread and allow to sit.
- Slice when the glaze is completely dry.
Yields 12 slices
Happy St. Patty’s Day! Whether you are Irish by birth or by spirit, this is the week that everyone is a wee bit Irish. And what better way to celebrate than with a bit of Guinness Stout? Guinness is great on its own but when combined with chocolate it only gets better. The combination of the rich beer and chocolate produces a dense and complex cake that isn’t overly sweet. You could skip the coffee infused ganache if you wanted but I think it takes these cakes from very good to great. After all, you now have beer, chocolate and coffee!
Like so many recipes, this one is an adaptation of an adaptation which you guessed it, was adapted from the original. I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen but versions of this recipe are floating all over the web. Some recipes produce three layer cakes and others give you one large bundt shaped cake. I decided to make mini bundt cakes since I recently re-discovered my mini bundt cake pan while unpacking my moving boxes. And because I made this cake for a get together with Glenn’s co-workers, the mini cakes traveled better and were easier to serve a crowd. I had hoped to bring a leftover cake home with me but alas, they all disappeared. I guess the moral is that if I really want to eat the cake I need to leave one at home.
MINI CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKES
For the cake:
1 cup Guinness Stout
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
For the ganache:
6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon instant coffee granules
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a six-cake mini bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray taking care to get in all of the nooks and crannies. If you don’t have two pans you will need to wash, dry, and re-grease the pan before baking the remaining cakes.
- In a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to a simmer.
- Add the cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
- Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend.
- Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sour cream in another large bowl to blend.
- Add the stout-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat until just combined.
- Add the flour mixture and beat briefly on low speed until just combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cake comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pan.
To make the ganache:
- For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.
- Drizzle over the top of cooled cakes.
Yields: 12 miniature bundt cakes