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Simple, Velvety Chocolate Pudding

homemade chocolate puddingJust because you’re really busy (and we know you are), doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fantastic homemade dessert. This simple chocolate pudding is a great treat you can put on the table even if you’re not feeling up to much cooking and dish washing. It’s got a velvety texture and it’s sweet but the complexity of the chocolate doesn’t get lost in the sugar.

This recipe is a cinch to make. One double boiler, plus ramekins, and that’s it. Proof positive that delicious, chocolaty desserts don’t have to be huge productions. So get your spoon, and enjoy the simplicity.

If you have a high-quality chocolate sitting around, this might be a good time to break it out. If not, don’t worry about it. We used the plain old grocery store kind and it was wonderful.

Classic Chocolate Pudding (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
makes 6 ramekins of pudding

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
6 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set up a double boiler, and warm the water to a low simmer over medium heat. Combine the cornstarch and sugar in the top of the double boiler, or, in my case, two nesting saucepans. Gradually whisk in the milk and half and half as the mixture warms. Warm the mixture  for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, prepare your ramekins. Use a neutral oil to grease them if you plan to unmold your puddings.

When the milk mixture has thicken considerably and coats the back of your spoon, add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has dissolved, and continue to cook in the double boiler for another 5 minutes.

Whisk the pudding thoroughly, and then pour the pudding into the prepared ramekins. Fill each ramekin just over half full, then add more if you have extra. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap right on top of the surface to prevent pudding skin. Chill the pudding for at least an hour, longer if you like your pudding cold, and serve.

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