Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quick and Easy Chocolate Pudding

My oldest son and I have a love in common...we both truly and deeply love chocolate. My son especially loves chocolate pudding, but after reading the ingredients' list on a package of instant pudding and discovering that many of the ingredients are unrecognizable and even derived from petroleum, such as artificial food colorings and additives, I decided that chemically processed and artificially flavored pudding is not something I want my family to consume on a regular basis. I love the real food tips that are provided by one of my favorite bloggers, Lisa, at 100 Days of Real Food. She has a great article on artificial food dyes. After doing my own research and reading her article, I definitely decided that artificial food dyes and chemical supplements in food is not something I really want my family to eat.

So, I found this simple, easy, and less processed alternative. Granted, this recipe requires sugar, but sugar consumed occasionally and in small amounts by my family is acceptable by me. The original recipe, from Debra at allrecipes.com, required a full cup of sugar for 8 servings. I reduced the amount of sugar by half and only used a half cup instead and added butter and vanilla for extra smoothness and flavor. My kids love it! Now, if only I could make it taste great without the sugar...hmmmm...a work in progress.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (you could use granulated sugar instead, I just like the smoothness of the powdered sugar)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 cups milk
1 TBSP vanilla
1 TBSP butter


In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch.

Whisk in milk a little at a time so the mixture does not have any dry lumps. Place in the microwave, and cook for 3 minutes on high. Stir, then cook at 1 minute intervals, stirring between cooking times for 2 to 4 minutes, or until shiny and thick. Stir in vanilla and butter.

I have a secret to share with you. If you don't know me by now, I am a little impatient, especially when it comes to chocolate...so...sometimes I cook for 2 minute intervals rather than 1 minute intervals as the original recipe states. My only caution is to watch the microwave to make sure the chocolate pudding does not bubble over your microwave safe container as its cooking.

Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming (I know, I know, in previous blog entries I have written how I dread plastic wrap on warm food, but if someone comes up with a different way to prevent the surface of the pudding from forming a skin, let me know), and chill in the refrigerator or if you are like me, eat it immediately after its cool enough to touch your mouth! You could go without the plastic wrap. The chocolate skin on top tastes just like the pudding, just firmer and thicker in texture.