I got a craving for something chocolatey today. Since my husband has insisted that we remove anything remotely fattening from our home (unfortunately, this included ice cream), we no longer had any pre-made chocolate goodies. Although I am typically annoyed that I have to suffer for his lack of willpower, I must say that it is better for my waistline if I only enjoy goodies when I want them badly enough to actually cook them myself.
So, in my effort to find some form of chocolatey goodness that I could make out of the current contents of my pantry, I pulled out my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and turned to the chocolate pudding page. Turns out, I already have all of the ingredients to make chocolate pudding from scratch right in my own cupboard. Nothing too incredibly strange (and by "strange," I mean anything I wouldn't find in my not-so-culinary-inclined Mom's home), except possibly the cornstarch.
Now, Betty Crocker is one heck of a cook, don't get me wrong. But I couldn't exactly get overly enthusiastic about her plain old chocolate pudding recipe. I decided to mix it up a bit...and by that, I mean adding alcohol. Can't go wrong there.
I added Creme de Menthe liquer to my version, as well as some extra chocolate chips. It would probably be equally as delicious with Frangelico, Bailey's (their flavored mint chocolate or caramel versions would be excellent), Grand Marnier (which I love, primarily due to its name being so close to that of my lovely sis, Marnee), Godiva liqueur, or even 99 Bananas (although that may take an extreme banana lover). I'm beginning to sound a bit like a lush here, so I'll continue on to the recipe...
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tsp. of your favorite liqueur (or simply vanilla, if you're not feeling overly adventurous)
1/3 cup chocolate chips, chopped
1. Stir together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a smallish to medium sized saucepan. Set the saucepan over medium heat, and stir in the milk.
2. Keep stirring, and stirring, and stirring (a whisk comes in handy here), until the mixture comes to a boil. It takes forever. Well, maybe more like 6 or 7 minutes, but it feels like forever with the steam coming off the mixture onto your hand. After it starts to boil, stir it for another minute.
3. Add at least half the mixture into the egg yolks. Be sure to add the milk mixture to the yolks, not the other way around. This is called "tempering," which allows the yolks to gradually heat up (be sure to stir the yolks quickly while adding the hot mixture). If you try to rush this step, you'll end up with scrambled eggs in your pudding. Tasty.
4. Add the tempered yolk mixture back to the rest of the milk mixture, and continue to stir for another minute.
5. Remove from heat and add the liqueur. Pour into a glass bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. If you don't like the skin that forms over pudding (which I actually enjoy), you'll want to press some plastic wrap right onto the top of the pudding. Although it will take the top portion of the pudding with it when you remove it, there won't be any skin. :)
6. After the pudding is chilled, stir the chopped up chocolate chips into it. Serve it in pretty glasses, and garnish with whipped cream and mint (if you've got it...otherwise, add more whipped cream!).