I had a lot of leftover half-and-half in the fridge so I decided to browse through some cookbooks to look for ideas on what to do with it. I ended up settling on Chocolate Pudding from Joy of Cooking. Brandon is a huge chocolate lover so I thought he’d be happy to have this for dessert.
This is a thick and rich pudding. Brandon commented that the texture was in between pudding and a mousse. It was a breeze to put together before dinner and later that night there was a great dessert waiting for us in the fridge!
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup warm water
1 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (optional but I recommend!)
2 cups half-and-half, divided into 1 3/4 and 1/4 cup
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Have ready a 3-cup bowl or 4 to 5 ramekins. If unmolding the pudding, oil the bowl or ramekins.
In a heavy saucepan, mix together sugar, cocoa and salt. Gradually stir in warm water to make a smooth, runny paste. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat. Stir in chopped chocolate until melted. Then stir in 1 3/4 cup half-and-half.
Place cornstarch in a separate bowl. Very gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half, making a smooth paste. Stir cornstarch paste into the chocolate mixture. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir briskly. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the pudding into the bowl or cups. If you don’t want a skin to form on the top of the pudding, immediately press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
If desired, serve with whipped cream and grated chocolate.