Thursday, February 24, 2011

So Chocolaty Part 2: The Dark Side

So yes, we know I like milk chocolate. But I obviously can appreciate the dark side of chocolate too, especially because it’s such a common and irreplaceable ingredient in most chocolaty baked goods. There are many recipes that showcase milk chocolate, like my cookies earlier this week, and you can even make more complex things using it like pudding or soufflé. But when it comes to layering chocolate to create a truly decadent swoon-worthy masterpiece, the darker the chocolate the better. All this coming from a professed vanilla-preferer. Imagine!

I recently made a gorgeous unbelievably rich triple chocolate pudding from The Kitchen Sink – lovely blogger Kristin adapted a recipe from Bon Appétit that has become my go-to for a simple, crowd-pleasing winter dessert.  Unsweetened cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao, ahh!) and semisweet chocolate come together for a triple velvety punch – sweetened with sugar and given texture with eggs and cream. You know, like most puddings. But this one really does stand out. Whatever chocolate camp your allegiance lies with, it’s hard not to love this amazing confection.

Triple Chocolate Pudding                                                                                                               from The Kitchen Sink, with my notes

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 1/2 cups half and half (I've replaced some of this with regular milk at times and it does no harm)
4 large egg yolks
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in a heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 1 cup half and half. Whisk in remaining 2 1/2 cups half and half and yolks. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 12 minutes (watch this, because it can happen much earlier and you don't want to overcook). Remove from heat. Add both chocolates and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Mix in vanilla. Transfer pudding to a bowl - press plastic wrap directly onto surface of pudding and chill until it sets, about 6 hours. Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

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