Saturday, January 23, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

I was going to blame this blog on Jenn. (Jenn’s thinking -- Me? What did I do?) Well you posted about Rainy Day Cookies. And then CJ posted about Cold Weather Soup. So I was going to blame him, too. The truth, however, is that it has been very cold, and we had an ice storm last night that left everything coated in ice. Honestly, though the thermometer didn’t think so, it felt colder outside in the icy rain than it did when the temperature dropped into the teens last week.

So now you’re wondering why I have to blame anyone, right? Well, along with ice cream in the summer, this is a big weakness of mine -- pudding. There’s something about pudding that’s so soothing. I recommend it for days when romances break up, your sports team doesn’t win, rejections arrive from agents, and someone posts an unflattering review of your book. And then there’s the cold, wet weather thing, which justifies it almost anytime in the winter.

In THE DIVA PAINTS THE TOWN (which will be out on Groundhog Day), Sophie makes ooey gooey chocolate Mudslide Lava Cakes (the recipe is in the book) to sooth the nerves of her best friend Nina Reid Norwood. After all, Nina thinks she may have killed someone -- a problem no one wants to have! For some reason warm chocolate can fix all kinds of troubles. If chocolate doesn't fix them, it makes them more tolerable.

I won’t blame my craving for warm chocolate pudding on Jenn or CJ. But I do blame Mother Nature and her ice storm!

Homemade pudding is one of those things you can do in minutes. I’ve been know to whip it up late at night or fifteen minutes before company arrived. It’s very easy to make. You'll wonder why you ever bothered buying a mix. The basic ingredients -- milk, cornstarch, and sugar -- are probably in your kitchen right now. I’ve made lots of pudding over the years, but my favorite recipe came from Have Your Cake and Eat It Too, by Susan G. Purdy. She added corn syrup to recipe, and I still think it’s the best! I’ve monkeyed with it a hair so it’s not quite as low fat as her original recipe, but it’s still on the low fat side of the equation and has all the rich flavor we crave.

I’ve further simplified the whole process by using four tools: a heavy bottomed pot; a two-cup Pyrex measuring cup; a whisk; and a mini-whisk. No point in washing a lot of stuff!


2 cups nonfat milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus two tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 - 2 tablespoons butter

1. Pour the milk into the Pyrex measuring cup.

2. Combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in the pot. Whisk together and get rid of any lumps. Use the whisk like spoon, it’s just more efficient in breaking up the lumps.

3. Pour the cold milk into the pot and whisk until blended. (Note that you still haven't turned on the stove!)

4. Measure the corn syrup in the same Pyrex cup. Add to the pot and whisk in.

5. Turn the burner to medium high and bring to a gentle boil, using the whisk as a spoon and stirring. You may need to turn down the heat when it begins to bubble. Cook so it gently bubbles, stirring with the whisk for one minute. It will thicken.

6. Remove from heat temporarily.

7. Break the egg into the same Pyrex cup and whisk with the small whisk (or a fork).

Drop a tiny amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg and whisk immediately to temper it. Add a little bit more and whisk. (This is so the egg won’t seize up and cook when it’s added to the warm liquid.)

8. Add the egg to the milk mixture and whisk in.

9. Bring to a gentle boil again and let cook for one minute, stirring the whole time.

10.Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and the butter.

At this point, you can spoon it into cups or little bowls. This is a great way to use those little cups that came with your china. Spoon the pudding into the cups, refrigerate until firm, and turn over onto a plate to serve. My great indulgence is to eat it warm, but it’s perfectly delicious cold, too. Serve with fruit or cookies -- or just plain!

If you prefer Vanilla Pudding, check out my very similar recipe 1234 Vanilla Pudding at my website.

PS to Jenn's and Elizabeth's kids --
Yes! You can make banana pudding with chocolate pudding . . .

~ Krista


  1. Oh, this looks scrumptious! My kids would LOVE this and could even help me make it. It's a cold, nasty day here and I'm taking them roller skating. After that...some pudding? Sounds like a great day!

    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

  2. Sounds fantastic. I have a problem though. I'm from UK and don't know what corn syrup is! Can you help?

  3. I've never heard of corn syrup in a pudding like this, but it sounds like a good addition. I may just be trying these out this week, my daughter is getting her braces on Monday. Soft foods will be on her menu for at least a few days :)

  4. If homemade pudding is the outcome,
    you can blame it on me any time! ;-)
    The dudes and I will absolutely be
    trying this. More rain is coming and
    I have one vanilla kid and one
    chocolate kid, so thanks for
    linking the vanilla in!
    Krista, the pics are just scrumptious!
    Thanks for sharing this recipe. Yu-uh-ummm!

  5. I'm another one that hasn't heard of corn syrup in homemade pudding, but it sounds good. You can't go wrong with pudding anytime - good or bad weather.

  6. First of all, I cannot wait until Feb. 2nd for the release of THE DIVA PAINTS THE TOWN. I'm really looking forward to a new sleuthing adventure with Sophie and I am so excited to hear that you're going to share your recipe for ooey gooey Mudslide Lava Cake. Wish I had some now!

    I am a pudding lover, too, Krista. You are so right that it's a great comfort food and homemade is so much better than boxed mixes. The corn syrup is a very clever idea and I'm looking forward to making this.

    Finally, I am so impressed with your molds. Is there any trick to getting them to unmold so perfectly? They look absolutely beautiful in your photos. Also, are those raspberries in the photo? Did you do a sauce? Those plates look pastry chef worthy!

    author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

  7. Elizabeth, I hope your kids love it! What a fun day they're having!

    Louie Jerome, maybe they call it Karo syrup in the UK?

    Jenn, I can't blame it on you, but you did start me on that track with your cookies! ;)

    ~ Krista

  8. Oh, Janel! Pudding will definitely make those braces feel better.

    Mason, thank you so much for your wonderful blog today! Did you notice the link Cleo set up on the right side that goes directly to it? :)

    Cleo, you're very kind to look forward to Sophie's new adventure.

    The molds are so easy. I use plain old teacups. The little ones that come with sets of china that no one uses anymore because everyone wants to use mugs. I don't do anything to them, just spoon the pudding in and refrigerate. When I'm ready to serve them, I place a plate over top, turn them upside down, give a shake or two and plop!

    We're lucky that we have wonderful raspberry bushes. We gather raspberries daily in the early summer, eat a few, and freeze the rest for the winter. I didn't do anything to these except thaw and sprinkle with sugar.

    ~ Krista

  9. WOW - you did an amazing job of presentation with just those simple raspberries. (I love that you picked them yourself from your own bushes. That is wonderful!) I am definitely going to try the teacup idea on the molds. It really looks gorgeous!


  10. I know who to blame for MY pudding craving!

  11. I just made this pudding - IT IS TO DIE FOR!! Silky smooth when eaten warm... and the corn syrup is a wonderful addition. I am going to try it cold tomorrow - the cups are chilling in the fridge right now. The ONLY thing I might modify for my own personal taste is reducing the sugar by maybe one or two tablespoons - I will play with it. It was wonderful - just slightly sweeter than my own tastes dictate a preference for. I LOVED THIS and will pass it on to my friends.

  12. I am intrigued with the addition of corn syrup in a chocolate pudding. I am book marking this to try.