Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chocolate Coconut Pudding

This pudding from The Kitchn happens to be vegan and it’s really easy to make, not to mention delicious. As a matter of fact, it was so good that I really think the recipe doesn’t make enough. Sure, it’s 4 servings if you spread it around in 4 ramekins or bowls, but the servings are really small! Next time, I would double the recipe below and just make 4 bigger servings. The texture was thicker than I expected, but that could be because I cooked it a bit too long, so that could be adjusted easily. I also found them slightly too sweet, so next time I would either use bittersweet chocolate instead of semisweet, or just use less sugar. I used Ghiradelli chocolate, but as long as you use your favorite quality chocolate here, you’ll be fine. You could also use add-ins like almond extract or chocolate chips, if you wanted.

1 14-oz. can of coconut milk, divided
¼ cup sugar (or less, to taste)
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. espresso powder, optional (I didn’t use it)
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or bittersweet, with full amount of sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut flakes, toasted, to garnish (optional)

Shake the can of coconut milk, as it can settle. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring half the can of coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer over low heat. Don't allow it to boil fully.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining coconut milk, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.

Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the hot pan of coconut milk, whisking vigorously. Keep whisking on low heat until the pudding almost reaches a simmer once again and begins to thicken, about 2 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from heat. Whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Keep stirring until the chocolate melts into the pudding and the mixture is smooth and silky.

Pour pudding in a separate bowl or individual ramekins and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 2 hours. To prevent a skin from forming, press plastic wrap up against the surface of the pudding. (This wasn’t really an issue for me, interestingly. In any case, I’m not crazy about pudding skin, but the Engineer enjoys it.)

Serve with a dusting of toasted coconut flakes. If covered in an airtight container, pudding can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. It will firm up quite a bit once chilled; give it a good, firm stir before serving. (This was perhaps why mine was so thick, as coconut milk does change consistency when cold; I prefer not to stir it.)

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