Sometimes simple is the best thing. The morning of Valentine's Day I was tossing around different ideas for that special dessert that would follow a Salad Lyonnaise and a Petit Filet Mignon. I'm thinking of course, chocolate cake... maybe a chocolate tart? But then, a little short on time, I settled on the chocolate pudding recipe I almost always use (and, after-all, I did make the Chocolate Roulade just a couple of days earlier; I really didn't want another chocolate cake). My daughter grabbed her dish of still-slightly-warm chocolate topped with whipped, heavy cream the moment she walked in the door from a day at school. There was no waiting for her! I resisted until after dinner (altho' I did luck-out with the remaining pudding from the pan and the whipped cream from the beaters). I often use this chocolate pudding to fill little individual tart shells that are also topped with whipped, heavy cream.
…"Old-Fashioned" Chocolate Pudding …
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 3 tablespoons (packed) cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon flour
• Pinch of salt
• 2 cups of milk (1% if you want a low-fat version; whole milk if you want an even richer pudding)
• 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
• Mix first 5 ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Add 1 cup milk and whisk to dissolve cornstarch. Whisk in remaining milk. Whisk mixture over medium heat until thickened and beginning to simmer, about 5 minutes. Simmer 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and extracts... When cool, top with lots of whipped cream!
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