dark chocolate puddings

i don’t tend to make rich or heavy puddings, preferring something light and fruity most of the time. however valentine’s day was a good excuse to try something different and i was intrigued by the description of these dark chocolate puddings as having “a dense, satiny texture and a fudge-like flavor from the combination of bittersweet chocolate, cocoa powder and brown sugar” and the video that made it look very easy to make. it also coincided with finding a frankfurt source for dark muscovado sugar – yay!

they ticked all the boxes i was expecting and hoping for – easy to make, interesting dark chocolate flavour plus a rich and creamy texture. all kinds of delicious.

melissa clark’s dark chocolate puddings (serves 8)

1 large egg, plus 2 yolks

170g dark chocolate (preferably 66-74% cacao), chopped

30g unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

360ml full-fat milk

120ml double cream

65g light or dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

20g corn flour

a pinch of fine sea salt

whipped cream or crème fraîche, for serving

chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)

flaky sea salt, for garnish (optional)

in a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg and yolks then set aside. place the chocolate, butter and vanilla extract in a food processor or blender but don’t turn on.

in a medium pan, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cocoa, corn flour and salt until smooth. bring to a boil, whisking, and let it bubble for 1 to 2 minutes to activate the corn flour. at that point, it will start to thicken, and when it does immediately take the pan off the heat. (you don’t want to overboil it or it may thin out again.)

pour a little of the hot mixture into the eggs, stirring constantly to prevent them from curdling, then pour the eggs back into the pan with the remaining mixture. cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until it just returns to a bare simmer (one bubble is plenty). immediately pour into the food processor or blender. run the machine until the pudding is very smooth (the hot milk mixture will melt the chocolate).

pour into individual bowls or teacups or 1 large decorative bowl and cover with clingfilm. refrigerate until firm and cold, at least 4 hours for individual servings and as many as 8 hours for 1 large bowl. the pudding can be made 3 days ahead. serve with whipped cream or whipped crème fraîche, decorated with chocolate shavings and a pinch of sea salt, if you like.