I wouldn't call myself a pudding connoisseur. My experience with pudding falls somewhere in between Jello Pudding Snacks and Magic Moments. I know what I like, chocolate before caramel and then vanilla. When I was a kid, there were a few times that I left the house in a panicked flurry with my pudding in one hand only to realize that I'd forgotten a spoon. It was on those days where I sucked up my pride, swallowed my proper British roots, and ate my pudding with my finger. In the corner. So no one could see.
I spent the better part of yesterday looking for a pudding recipe. I was in the mood for something chocolate, with a hint of orange. I was longing to be reminded of a time when I lacked experience, wisdom, and judgement. A time when waking up at 5:00 am to whack a chocolate orange on the table to loosen its wedges, seemed completely appropriate. I found a recipe from Food and Wine, knowing them to be a reputable site. I made some adjustments and tweaking. I added some orange extract, reduced the sugar, and added some cream. This recipe for chocolate pudding is equal parts science and delicious. You start with a liquid consisting of milk, sugar, chocolate, cornstarch, and eggs, then science does its thing, like science does, and then you have pudding. Unbelievable! Alright, there's a little more to it than science. A little magic as well.
VELVETY DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING WITH CANDIED ORANGE PEEL RECIPE
makes 3 1/2 cups, 6 servings
recipe adapted from Food and Wine
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp corn starch
1/3 cup cream
2 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 cup bitter sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 tsp orange extract
candied orange peel
In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer on low-medium heat.
In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder, corn starch, and cream. Whisk the corn powder slurry into the warm milk.
In a small bowl, beat the 2 egg yolks and the one egg. Slowly add a ladle of the warm milk to the eggs and whisk. You want to warm the eggs. Whisk the eggs into the milk mixture.
Bring the pudding to a boil until one or two bubbles start popping. Reduce the heat and continue whisking the pudding until it reaches the consistency of a creamy soup.
Once the pudding has reached the consistency of thick soup, remove it from the heat. Microwave the chocolate and butter until slightly melted. Whisk into the pudding, followed by the orange extract.
Pour the pudding through a fine strainer, if you prefer no lumps. I omitted this stage, because I am straight up lazy.
Pour the pudding into serving glasses or dishes. The pudding should be easy to pour and start to thicken if not stirred. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. If you don't like the pudding skin, then make sure the piece of plastic wrap is touching the pudding. When you remove the plastic, you will also remove the pudding skin.
Garnish with candied orange peel.