chocolate pudding (twd)

Melissa’s TWD pick of chocolate pudding really hit the spot for me this week. I hadn’t made anything chocolately in a while, and something smooth and cool like pudding is perfect for the hot summer weather right now. Also, as much as I like to cook, it’s nice to have something simple every once in a while.

Oh, except that I’m incapable of keeping things simple in the kitchen. I’ve had my eye on the chocolate pudding recipe that Deb posted a few months ago. Deb was looking for an easy pudding recipe after making her way through a disappointing one that sounds suspiciously familiar now that I’ve made Dorie’s pudding recipe. Deb’s pudding looks dark and chocolately and delicious, and as an added bonus, there’s no egg yolks to mess with. I decided to make both recipes and compare them. (I made a third recipe as well, but it didn’t set properly, so I’m not going to review it on the assumption that I screwed something up.)

Both puddings had their strong points. The eggless pudding had a much darker chocolate flavor, which I like but Dave isn’t crazy about. It was also really firm. Overall, it reminded me more of chocolate pots de crème than good ol’ pudding. In contrast, the chocolate flavor of Dorie’s pudding seemed weak, at least to me. However, the texture was that of a perfectly smooth and refreshing pudding.

Clearly, Dorie’s recipe requires more effort, what with moving the pudding back and forth between the food processor and the stove. I haven’t decided if it was worth it. I’d like to take Deb’s recipe (or maybe the third recipe I tried, which was similar), and tweak it. I think if I just add a little more milk, it won’t be so overpoweringly chocolately and the texture will soften to be more like a pudding. But we’ll see.

Dorie’s pudding recipe can be found on her blog.

Silky Chocolate Pudding (adapted from Smitten Kitchen; originally from John Sharffenberger)

Serves 6

Bridget note: There was no coating the back of a spoon after 20 minutes on a double boiler over gently simmering water. I’m assuming this is because I used a glass bowl instead of a metal bowl. I cranked the heat up and cooked it for another 10 minutes or so over a very lively simmer, and that did the trick.

¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
6 ounces 62% semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. 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.

2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl or into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour into individual serving dishes.

3. If you like pudding skin, pull plastic wrap over the top of the serving dish(es) before refrigerating. If you dislike pudding skin, 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.


  1. Love your pudding presentation! I’m such a fan of white on white. Good comparison between the two pudding recipes.

  2. I’ve used Deb’s recipe too – I like the more intense chocolate flavor. Both are winners though!

  3. Gorgeous photographs, your puddings look perfect.

  4. Pudding ambition! Dorie’s recipe didn’t seem to chocolatey to me either–I attributed it to the 90 degree heat. But, your comparisons are interesting–I’ll try Smitten Kitchen’s version next (I’m so lazy I hate to clean that food processor for such a seemingly simple treat)

  5. omg how cute is that first photo?!??! i put an extra 1.5 oz of choco into my pudding and it was SO RICH on the chocolate, the whipped cream was required to cut it. I have to check out SK’s version, i love that blog.

  6. I actually made the version that was on SK a while back too, but had the same issues with it that you said above. I really preferred Dorie’s recipe – and I skipped all the back and forth and just used a good whisk. It was fantastic! All your pudding cups look gorgeous!

  7. amanda says:

    Holy cow. Those look awesome!

  8. gorgeous photos! i’m glad you liked dorie’s recipe… i used a hand blender and i thought that was easier than all of that FP back-and-forth.

  9. What a beautiful presentation!

  10. Beautiful presentation… and really appreciated reading your pudding comparison!

  11. Love your pictures! Your pudding looks incredible!

  12. Very nicely done. Love the comparison.

  13. Your puddings look great. Great comparison of the recipes.

  14. Gee, I really feel sorry for you – taste testing all that pudding. 🙂 I’m impressed! Great job!!

  15. I love your cups and presentation! Great job!

  16. Beautiful pictures, your pudding looks delicious!

  17. Wow. Those look amazing!

  18. Gorgeous photos! I love that overhead shot in particular.

  19. That is total food porn. It all looks delicious.

  20. Your pudding looks so light, like chocolate frosting! I’m drooling just thinking about it!

    I wonder how this amazing recipe compares to some trashy Jell-O Instant, or one of those prepacked pudding cups I used to think were so good!

  21. i can’t believe you had a “pudding-off” !! I was lucky to make ONE variety!!

  22. I like that you have the same idea about using the little espresso cups. I use those a lot over here but usually for serving the very strong Turkish Coffee with Hal. (No, not the dude Hal..Hal is the term they use when referring to the cardnom (sp?) that is blended with the coffee.) :o)

    I like how you had the little ripply design so I guess I will have to go out and get me some of those things. I really like that it turned out well for you and will try the recipe you posted. I look forward to your post next week!

  23. Your puddings look delicious! Stunning pictures 🙂

  24. thanks for the comparison! they both look great!

  25. I love the way you plated your puddings and I enjoyed your comparative analysis of the two recipes. I love pots de creme so I may have to try Deb’s recipe soon. 🙂

  26. bakingforthecure says:

    I wish I could have one 🙂 looks great!