In many countries of the world, pudding can mean any sweet dessert. In the United States, however, we are stuck on our own version of pudding; it must be creamy and feel great in your mouth. The history of pudding is long, however. Originally, pudding meant a type of sausage, and even in the Middle Ages, puddings were generally made of meat.
Sometime in the 1600s, puddings were created that were sweet rather than savory. They were usually made of sugar, flour, and nuts made in special bags that could be boiled. Savory puddings were phased out by the late 1700s, and by the 1800s, puddings looked more like boiled cakes. By the mid-1800s, a custard powder was invented by an Englishman named Alfred Bird. He used it to thicken foods without using eggs. In America, everyone loved it and used it for custards.
By the early 1900s, custards were all the rage. Companies like Royal and Jell-O started making their desserts, including puddings as health foods. By the 1930s, pudding mixes were easily found in any market. Vanilla and chocolate were the early favorites. Now there are many flavors of this easy to make pudding. Some people do prefer to make it from scratch, however.
If you are one of these people, it can be tricky to find a good homemade pudding recipe. Some are really pot-de-cremes or pastry creams rather than a true pudding. Most have a lot of complicated instructions. When you luck out and find a good recipe that is both simple and tasty, you know you have hit the jackpot.
Recipe for Simply Chocolate Pudding
This simple recipe for homemade chocolate pudding hits the spot.
What You Need
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
How to Make ItMix the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Whisk in the milk slowly, using a heatproof spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan so all the dry ingredients are added. Place the top of the double boiler over gently simmering water, stirring occasionally and scraping all parts of the pan. Use a whisk if necessary to break up lumps. The mixture should begin to thicken after 15 to 20 minutes. When you notice the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the chocolate. Stir for a few minutes to smooth the pudding. Remove the pan from heat and mix in the vanilla.
Strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer for a smooth pudding. This step can be skipped if you do not mind a lump or two. Pour the pudding into a large serving bowl or into individual serving dishes.
For those who like a skin on their pudding, put plastic wrap over the top of the pudding without touching the surface before refrigerating. If you do not like pudding skin, fit the plastic wrap against the top of the pudding, smoothing it gently.
Pudding should be chilled for at least half an hour. It is good up to three days in the refrigerator.
Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/