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Mexican Chocolate Pudding

Once you’ve tasted homemade chocolate pudding—and discovered how simple it is to prepare—you’ll never consider instant again. This version has the flavors of Mexican chocolate, imbued with cinnamon and just a hint of heat from cayenne. The pudding is a healthy alternative to high-fat chocolate ice cream, and the creamy texture is deceiving.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups low-fat (2%) milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, whisk together the milk and egg yolks. Add the brown sugar mixture and whisk to mix well. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula or a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Cook gently, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more, then remove from the heat. Stir in the chocolate until melted and smooth, then stir in the vanilla. 

Spoon the pudding into 6 ramekins or dessert glasses, dividing evenly, and smooth the tops. Place a piece of waxed paper directly on the surface of each pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. Serve cold. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy in a Hurry, by Karen Ansel, MS, RD and Charity Ferreira (Weldon Owen, 2011).