I just made the best chocolate pudding I have ever tasted! and I have tasted a lot.. I was so excited about it, I had to share!
Chocolate is one of my favorite things to eat.. in most forms.. When I was little I really only liked milk chocolate but after having to avoid dairy for a while in my late 20’s I started trying different kinds of dark chocolates.. I had a hard time at first. A lot of them seemed very chalky.. Slowly my appreciation for dark chocolate grew, and now that’s what I prefer. In my tastings I came across a couple of dark chocolate bars I love more than others.. If you haven’t tried them, I really do recommend them!
The first one, Endangered species chocolate in the Natural Dark Chocolate (72% cocoa) is my favorite..
I keep a bar or two in my cupboard for me to break off a piece every now and again when I want a chocolate fix.. The bonus about that is most of my kids don’t like dark chocolate! Every once in a while I’ll come across an empty bar when I thought there was a full one.. On the rare occasion, My 2 youngest will sneak into the cupboard and eat it! Naughty bunnies! I’ve tried Green & Black and a few other of the “natural” or “fair trade” brands. For some reason I could never really get a taste for them, they seems more chalky or gritty to me.
The second bar that I recently tried and was very happily surprised how good it was, is Theo organic fair trade pure 70% dark chocolate.
This was my first experience and I was not disappointed. I ended up trying it because it was on sale at Fred Meyer for 2 for $5.. good deal for the good chocolate. I always try to buy a few bars of my favorite when they are on that sale and just stash them away in the cupboard. I don’t eat them every day, or even every week. But there is something comforting to me knowing I have some in the cupboard if I want it. It’s funny, I was the same way with regular chocolate candies when my oldest 2 were little (about 14-10 years ago). I would always stock up on so much Halloween candy but we would hardly ever eat it! Just having it there comforts me in some odd way..
I’m sort of the same way when it comes to frozen cookie dough. I like to make a big batch of it and keep them individually portioned in the freezer so whenever the need arises for a delicious home-made chocolate chip cookie they are ready to go.. And this recipe is so good too! My mom brought it home from an old theatre she used to volunteer at when I was 17. I’ve tweaked it a bit here and there to give it my own goodness. We almost always have frozen cookie dough on hand. When making chocolate chip cookies or any other baking I always use Ghirardelli brand chocolate.. That is my go to chocolate. I know it’s not organic or fair trade but it is very good quality chocolate and it tastes wonderful. I even try to buy Ghirardelli brand cocoa powder and baking chocolate squares. In my cookies I use 1 bag of semi sweet and 1 bag of bittersweet. I think the variety of chocolate makes it even better! I will share that recipe later!
Lately I have been really wanting peanut butter, chocolate pudding pie. The restaurant (Anelia’s Kitchen and Stage in La Conner, WA www.facebook.com/aneliaskitchenandstage if you ever get a chance, go! really good Polish food!) my 2 little brothers work at (one the head cook, the other a waiter) makes a delicious chocolate pudding pie with a walnut crust. Between the crust and the pudding is a delicious layer of peanut butter frosting type stuff. And to top the pie off is a home-made whipped cream, made with real cream. It is one of the best pies I have ever tasted. And for a few months while I was working there I got to help make it! That was my first experience with making home-made pudding not from a box. It is so rich and delicious.
Well, today, I think I have topped even that. My pie doesn’t have the peanut butter frosting filling though, so it may not be as wonderful. Even though I don’t have the peanut butter frosting filling, I did decided to make the crust with Nutter Butter cookies. I was looking online for different Oreo crust recipes because I knew it would pretty much be the same concept. But I didn’t have enough cookies.. almost but not quite. Every recipe I saw called for around 24 or 25 for one pie crust and I only had 19. But I decided to make it anyways!
My Little Biscuit, Persephone, helped me pulse the cookies in the cuisinart. She was sad because the 2 middles were outside playing with the neighbor kids and she couldn’t go without an adult or big kid. So, I had my Little Biscuit help me make a pie! She put the 19 cookies into the processor and pulsed away. I put in about 1/4 cup of butter and I had a bit of cream cheese left over from bagels this morning so I put that in as well. About 2-4 TBS worth. I also ended up throwing in about 1/4 C of pecans. We pulsed it up really good until it was thoroughly mixed then I pressed it into an 8″ pie plate, bottoms and sides. I baked it on 350 F for about 8 minutes then set it on the stove top to cool while I got the pudding cooking.
I was checking out a few different recipes online for home-made pudding and sort of did a combo of a few of them. I ended up making a double batch of pudding, so we have a pie and another pie plate full of just pudding. I think I’m going to save the pie for tomorrow night when my mom comes over for dinner and let the kids go crazy on the pudding tonight. At this point Little Biscuit went to lay on the couch and watch Mickey Mouse while I cooked over the hot stove.
I will write down what I ended up with and then if you want enough for just half, or one 8″ or 9″ pie, just cut the pudding recipe in half. The crust recipe would stay the same. Most pudding recipes called for whole milk, but I only had 2% on hand so I ended up using half 2% milk and half Heavy Cream.
Chocolate Pudding Ingredients
3 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Cups 2% milk
3 Cups Heavy Cream
8 Whole Large Egg Yolks
1 Bag Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
3 Tablespoons Ghirardelli Chocolate Baking Powder
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) Butter
Home made whipped cream for serving
heavy cream, a splash of vanilla, and powdered sugar to taste. whipped with a whisk or an electric whisk (I always use my kitchen aid mixer for this, as it can take a long time!) until light and fluffy
I’ll be adding whipped cream tomorrow before serving! Possibly peanut butter flavor whipped cream. Not sure yet.
Start by putting the sugar, cornstarch, chocolate powder, and salt in a heavy sauce pan. Stir it gently with a whisk, so the powder doesn’t explode all over your stove!
Pour in Milk, Cream, and Egg Yolk and whisk together.
Whisk over Med – Med High heat until the mixture starts to thicken and have a slight boil. You will want to stir this constantly so the mixture does not burn to the bottom of the pan. Milk products burn quickly and easily if you aren’t careful!
When the mixture is getting thick remove from the burner and add the Chocolate chips, Vanilla and butter. Stir it up until it’s all combined. Pour immediately into the prepared crust and let it chill for a few hours in the fridge. I always cover my pudding so it doesn’t develop a skin on top but I’ve seen a lot of recipes that say uncovered, so use what ever method you are comfortable with.
I tasted the pudding that was in the extra pie dish and I couldn’t believe how insanely good this turned out! It was so rich and absolutely creamy!
I can not wait to try the pie tomorrow with the Nutter Butter crust and whipped cream on top! Totally looking forward to that! For tomorrow’s dinner I think I’ll be making a Green Chile, Black Bean, Chicken Enchilada Casserole. Since we aren’t vege’s anymore we tend to eat a lot of chicken. And all my kids seem to really love that casserole! It’s super easy and delicious.
I didn’t take any photos of the process of the pie making, not a super great thing for the blogging world, but I’m new ;). I will try to remember to take a photo of the pie all done and with the whipped cream and post it up! If you love chocolate, please try this pie! It definitely will not disappoint! Just make sure to use the awesome Ghirardelli Chocolate.. I think the chocolate is what makes it so lovely! I also always try to use organic whenever possible or budget allows. It isn’t possible all the time and with some things I prefer non organic (like peanut butter!) because it just tastes better to me. Use what you can or are comfortable with budget or taste wise, but I really would not skimp on the chocolate in this one! Often times Fred Meyer will have sales around the holidays (not just winter ones) where you can buy 2 bags for $5 so I always try to stock up when I see that.
If you end up trying the recipe let me know what you think! I’d love to hear how it turned out for you!