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Today is Mr M’s birthday, so it seems a good time to post one of his (and all of our) favourite desserts.  This is what I would call a custard pudding, as it contains milk, cream and egg yolks, but in the US this sort of dolloping goodness is the definition of pudding, rather than the more fluid meanings you have here, or the all encompassing pudding as dessert you have in the UK.

These sort of puddings are often just thickened with corn starch or similar, like the instant pudding mixes you can buy, but I much prefer the flavour with egg yolks, and you’ll be pleased to hear it is no more difficult to make, with no double boilers or extra bowls involved!  I think thickening with egg yolks is one of those techniques that make people wary, as they worry about lumps or the mixture splitting, but the large amount of cornflour here make that almost impossible.

This is fabulous with or without whipped cream, with or without berries, and warm or cold.  We often have some warm then chill the rest for later.  This makes about one litre, so would serve the four of us at least a couple of times, or provide dessert after a meal for up to ten if you have with cream and berries.

Chocolate custard pudding

Recipe adapted from one of Remedial Eating’s always reliable recipes

1 1/2 Tbs cocoa
1 1/2 Tbs cornflour
140g sugar (white or brown are both fine)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp instant coffee (optional, and I actually use Caro as I don’t drink coffee)
250ml light cream and 500ml full cream milk (or the same of whipping cream and low fat milk)
3 large egg yolks
200g dark choc chips or finely chopped dark chocolate
1 Tbs butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine cocoa, cornflour, sugar, salt and coffee in a large saucepan and whisk together briefly.  Whisk in cream, milk and egg yolks, then chocolate.  As you can see above it will be a completely lumpy uncombined mixture, and that’s fine.

Whisk over medium high heat until it comes to a boil.  The middle photo shows when it is nearly boiling, so the chocolate has melted and combined but it hasn’t thickened much yet.  Once it starts bubbling, reduce heat and switch to a silicon spatula or wooden spoon and keep stirring, making sure you get into the corners.  Cook another couple of minutes until it has clearly darkened in colour and drops thickly from the spoon as in the last couple of pictures.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Cool slightly before serving.