Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All Natural Instant Chocolate Pudding

I love chocolate pudding. It's a childhood favorite that makes me think of sitcom TV and Bill Cosby.  But, I never make it from scratch because of my impatience. When I want pudding, it has to be hassle-free and relatively fast. With all-natural ingredients, a luxurious texture and rich chocolate flavor, this foolproof recipe solves my dilemma. The pudding is made in the microwave in minutes. It can be chilled in the fridge and served cold or cooled on the counter and served warm.  It's super easy and super good. It tastes like a ultra-creamy fudgesicle.

All Natural Instant Chocolate Pudding Recipe 
Minimally adapted from All Recipes Hasty Chocolate Pudding  

Some Notes:

The original recipe states the milk should be incorporated into the dry ingredients slowly to avoid lumps. I'm an impatient person. So, I just dump everything in a bowl and use a spatula to work out the lumps.  More patient types will add the milk to the dry ingredients a little at a time. Even with a few little lumps, it tastes great! It's hard to resist eating it piping hot out of the microwave.

I use Penzyes Natural High Fat Cocoa Powder for its strong, dark chocolate taste. I suggest using the best quality cocoa in this recipe. Some cocoa powders are tasteless and some are bitter. Find one you like.

Be careful and keep a watchful eye on it so it doesn't boil over in the microwave. Use a medium bowl.

Serving options: Sliced bananas, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, shaved chocolate, dusting of cocoa powder, pistachios, almonds, peanut butter, marshmallows, whipped cream or berries. Add cinnamon for a Mexican chocolate pudding or cardamom for an Indian chocolate pudding.
A tablespoon or two of Trader Joe's Thick and Rich Coconut Cream stirred in at the end with the coconut extract and some shredded coconut tastes like a Mounds candy bar. Dress it up with peppermint extract and crushed thin mint cookies. Be creative and make it your own.

My favorite preparation is to mix a little shaved chocolate or peanut butter into it while the pudding is very hot. It's thick and rich while hot/warm. The shaved chocolate makes it taste like a truffle. The peanut butter melts a little, for a warm Reese's Peanut Butter Cup flavor. Instant luxury. If you eat it straight out of the microwave, you can make it with low fat milk too. I've never tried it with non-dairy, coconut milk beverage. But I suspect it would also work. The pudding pictured above, in the first photo shown with the brown background, was made with low fat milk. It was photographed while still very warm, minutes after being microwaved. Ohhh was it good with creamy peanut butter swirled in!

You'll Need:
  • 1/2 cup of sugar. I use my vanilla sugar.
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon best quality cocoa powder. I use Penzeys (see notes).
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch 
  • 2 cups of whole milk or low fat milk (see notes) 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or peppermint extract for a chocolate-mint pudding or coconut extract for a Mounds candy bar chocolate pudding.  (optional)
  • pinch or two of sea salt
  • serving options listed above

The Rundown:
In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Incorporate the milk a little at a time, into the dry ingredients, making sure you work out the lumps. I use a spatula, pressing it to the sides of the bowl, to mash the lumps out. A whisk will work too.

Place the mixture in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. Stir well with a spatula, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Place it back in the microwave and cook for one minute. Stir well with a spatula, scraping down the sides of the bowl and working out the lumps. Repeat this process until you achieve a thick, shiny, pudding-like consistency. Keep a watchful eye on it. Don't overcook it in the microwave or it will boil over. It should take about 3-4 minutes of microwaving and stirring. At first it will seem like nothing is happening that resembles pudding. It'll look like a mess of lumps and liquid. Be patient with the process. The mixture will start to darken, thicken and become glossy. When it's shiny and thick, stir in the vanilla or peppermint or coconut extract (if using) and sea salt and place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the pudding. Cool on the counter. Chill in the fridge. Once cooled you may need to stir it again. I think it's best served warm, minutes after it's made with shaved chocolate mixed in (shown in the first photo). It thins out once cold (shown in the second photo). If anyone solves the problem of the thinner consistency of the chilled pudding, please let me know. Maybe the trick is to add more cornstarch? Thanks and Enjoy!

*** I've since made this with 4 tablespoons of cornstarch. The pudding was ultra thick when cold, but it had too many lumps. So I think somewhere in between 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch will achieve a rich, thick, chilled pudding. Please let me know if you find the right amount. I've never had a problem with the texture when it's hot, warm or room temperature. Thanks! J *** ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  1. I love this! Going to make it tonight!

    1. Hi Lisa, your blog is amazing! By the looks of your baking and dessert recipes, I think you 'll improve on this pudding. I have't found just the right amount of cornstarch for the chilled pudding yet. Thanks for visiting!

  2. This was a cinch to make.yummy too,thank u!

  3. I'm so glad you liked it. A quick-fix creamy chocolate pudding when you gotta have it fast. Peanut butter is good in it too. Thanks for leaving a comment. Happy Cooking!