I have been searching around for the best recipe and finally ended up with this one. While many easy pudding recipes call for just cornstarch, I find that this one which combines egg yolk and cornstarch to has the best texture. It also holds together longer in the refrigerator.
If you have issues with cornstarch then you can omit it and bake these in a bain marie in the oven at 300 degrees for about an hour. You will get the same dreamy texture. Not quite as rich as a pot de creme but easily as wonderful. To make it less rich you can omit the unsweetened chocolate.
I have successfully used this pudding as a filling for chocolate pie. It’s best enjoyed with a bit of freshly whipped cream. Chocolate pie should not be confused with Classic Chocolate Tart. Chocolate pie is very down home while the chocolate tart is a bit richer (hard to believe, but it is) and in my view more sophisticated. Either way they are both delicious.
If you are a fan of puddings and chocolate, check out the recipe for malted chocolate pudding at The Improvised Life.
Barr’s Best Chocolate Pudding
3 cups half and half
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (use milk or semi-sweet for children’s palates)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
Heat the 1/2 and 1/2 to a simmer. Mix the egg yolks with the cornstarch and the sugar. Once the 1/2 and 1/2 is warm, temper the egg yolks by adding a ladle full of hot 1/2 and half while stirring. This will prevent the egg yolks from cooking.
Add a bit more liquid then pour all the egg/sugar/cornstarch mixture back into the pan and put the heat on to medium low. Prepare the chocolate and have the other ingredients ready. As the pudding starts to thicken add the chocolates and stir well. Now add the salt and vanilla. As the pudding starts to boil, remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until well combined.Pour into individual ramekins. I love these glass ones that have their own lids. Allow to cool, then cover and place in the fridge until they are chilled through.
For Chocolate Pie Crust
You can purchase a prepared crust but this is so easy to make and is really much tastier. Finding the Nabisco chocolate wafers gets harder and harder. When I find them, I buy several packs. I happen to love the classic ice box cake recipe on the back. I’ve come to purcahsing a case on Amazon so that they are always around.
1 1/3 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (from about 26 cookies)
5 Tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
Pulse the wafers in the bowl of a food processor with the sugar. Add the melted butter and pulse again. Press the crumbles into a pie plate. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 – 15 minutes until toasted.