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Homemade Chocolate Pudding & a Special Craving!


I know, I know - I've been slacking!  But, I assure you, it's for a very good cause.   Rob and I are having a baby!  Our first child is due June 27, 2011 and we couldn't be more excited!  I've been feeling great, in relation to how I expected to feel, however I've just been exhausted.  I haven't stopped cooking and baking, though admittedly I have slowed down a bit.  However, the lack of blogging lately is just due to pure laziness.  As I mentioned, I've been exhausted, so I either didn't feel like taking pictures of my food, or if I did take pictures they still need to be loaded and/or edited before I can post.

Though we don't know the sex yet, this baby definitely takes after daddy, or is all girl, because I've been having some major chocolate cravings.  Chocolate has never been my go-to flavor choice, though I don't dislike it, but the last few months I've been wanting it all.the.time.  However, not just any chocolate - I want soft and creamy chocolate - pudding, ice cream, hot chocolate, chocolate milk, "leftover" cake and cupcake frosting, etc.

In honor of Baby S., I want to share with you this amazing homemade chocolate pudding recipe I stumbled across while enjoying a breakfast drink (chocolate flavor, of course!)  as a snack at work and poking around the inter-webs.  To be honest, pudding has never been something I've thought of making on my own until I started craving it - but believe me, this recipe will definitely get some good use when this baby starts begging for pudding when it's older!  I saw numerous recipes that were more like custards and mousses (many of which I bookmarked for later!) but I just wanted a basic, aka quick, chocolate pudding.  This recipe did not disappoint.  Silky, creamy, rich but not heavy, and, of course - chocolaty!!

Silky Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk (I used 1% milk for a lighter version and it was still a-maz-ing!)
6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate the dry ingredients. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 15 to 20 minutes, when the mixture begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding is smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl or into individual serving dishes.

Place plastic wrap on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

Source:  adapted from Smitten Kitchen, as found on The Wednesday Chef, originally from The Essence of Chocolate, by John Scharffenberger

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