It’s not possible to have a dinner without a chocolate dessert, at least not in our house. I knew Pauline was bringing the Pavlova with Passion Fruit, which was all well and good (and was it good!), but that left a gaping hole that needed filling. To the rescue I came with another of Gail Monaghan’s fabulous desserts in Lost Desserts, published by Rizzoli, which I’m giving away to some lucky random winner in the U.S. All you need to do is comment on this post and tell me what desserts on my blog (from either the Chocolate or Other Desserts section) appeal most to you. Comment by Wednesday, November 11 and I will announce the lucky winner on–yes!–Friday the 13th.
As for this pudding: I just loved the idea of making a mold rather than individual servings. It looks so majestic! (Plus, I could easily help myself to a double portion without conspicuously picking up two bowls full.) I have to say this is the best chocolate pudding I’ve ever had–as Gail says, it’s ”unususally rich and silky and refreshingly not too sweet.”
Good luck in the giveaway–I love my copy: It’s beautiful and the desserts, as you know, are divine!
Serves 6 to 8
7 T. unsalted butter
1 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
5 T. cornstarch
1 quart whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 t. salt
2 oz. best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups very cold heavy cream whipped together with 3 T. sugar and 1/2 t. vanilla extract, for garnish
1/4 cup shaved milk or dark chocolate, for garnish
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.
Meanwhile, place the cocoa powder, cornstarch, milk, sugar, and salt in a blender and blend for 1 minute.
Add the cocoa mixture to the melted butter, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a wire shisk (briskly to ensure there are no lumps). Remove from the heat and stir in the choppped chocolate. Continue to whisk another minute to cool the mixture a bit, then whisk in the vanilla. Rinse a 5- to 6-cup mold (or among 6 to 8 smaller molds/ramekins) with cold water. Pour in the pudding mixture, smooth with a spatula, lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the surface, and refrigerate until cold (at least 6 hours and up to several days).
Run a sharp knife around the pudding and unmold it onto a serving plate. If you have difficulty with this, dip the mold very briefly in hot water or wrap it in a kitchen towel that has been dipped in hot water.
Dollop or use a pastry bag to pipe whipped cream on top of the pudding and then top with chocolate shavings.