Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shelle's Chocolate Pudding

Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day. 

Tonight's been the kind of night a mama needs some chocolate. I know, I post way too much on chocolate. I eat too much chocolate. I have a problem, okay. I'm gonna get help. Probably. Some day. Like, after Kip does. And we all know that that will never happen.

Anyway, until I married into Kip's chocoholic family I didn't know you could make pudding from scratch. Pudding came from a box of powdered ingredients. That's the way it'd always been. I assumed that that was the way it would always be. After all, that's how my mom made it. That's how my friends' moms made it. That's how it appeared in all those recipes for chocolate pudding pie (graham crackers, pudding mix, Cool Whip--you know the ones). And then Kip and I went to visit his sister one weekend. And I walked into the kitchen to find pudding she'd made. In a pot. With a little sugar, milk, some cocoa. It had taken only a few minutes. It sure smelled good. And it tasted like nothing out of a box has ever tasted in its lonely shelved boxed life. There's no going back after experiences like that. No going back.

I asked Kip's sister, Shelle, for the recipe and she gave it to me in that off-the-cuff way that good chefs have. She just jotted it down on a Post-it note, which is where I have it still. Thank you, you awesome chocolate loving sister-in-law. And by the way, much to Kip's horror, it was Shelle who also introduced me to artichokes, asparagas, and avocado--three vegetables I now love love love. Which Kip hates hates hates. And which he thought he'd be able to live without for the rest of his life, having married me.

Sorry, my love. And thank you, Shelle.

By the way if you ever think it is not worth the whopping 10 minutes it takes to make pudding from scratch, you need to re-evaluate your life and priorities. And maybe have a look at the ingredient list on your next box of Jello Pudding.

Shelle's Chocolate Pudding
Serves 4
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $1.00
(sugar: .16, cocoa: .25, milk: . 26, eggs: .20, butter: .12, other stuff: .01)

Note on sugar: It can be reduced. Don't go too crazy, but you can safely shave off about  1/8-1/4 C and still have a lovely pudding. Frankly, I don't. I believe I stated at the beginning of this post that I. have. a. problem.)

1 C sugar
1/2 C cocoa
2 Tbsp cornstarch
dash salt
2 C milk (would probably work with skim milk, but have only made it with milk containing some % of fat)
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk it together in a saucepan so there are no lumps.

In separate bowl, whisk egg yolks into milk.

Add milk/egg mixture to dry mixture. Whisk together.

Stirring frequently, heat to a gentle boil. Let it boil a minute or two. Take off the heat and add butter and vanilla.

Eat it hot out of the pan if you will. You'll be surprised how amazing it is (just don't burn your tongue, okay.) Or put it in containers and cover it with plastic wrap. If you don't like the skin (we do), place the plastic wrap against the actual surface of the pudding. It's excellent warm or cold. You can garnish with whipped cream or drop a few chocolate chips into the warm pudding before it cools (that's my favorite way).

Note: If you'd like a cheaper version (or a lower-fat version for that matter) omit the egg yolks and the butter. I make this version when I want a simple sweet thing for myself on a ho-hum weeknight. It will not be quite as rich, but it is still amazing and so much better than anything--anything--you will get from a box. (You'll save about a quarter and about 100 calories {mostly fat calories} per serving. With all that milk and the antioxidants from the cocoa, you can even pretend it's a healthy snack if you'd like.)


1 comment:

  1. I don't know if it's a typo or if you really use only 1 cup of milk when you make the pudding. I use 2 cups. Does it work with 1? I would think it's too thick, but maybe it's really good. I also have reduced the sugar a little and sometimes I add chocolate chips to make it extra creamy.



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