It has been a life-long comfort food even though my first memory of it involves something less than 'comfort' .
I was about 3 or 4 years old and I was sitting in my spot at the kitchen table - the window behind me. Our home at the time was a little two room cottage without indoor plumbing or running water - I believe at that time we did not yet have electricity either. The wood stove Mom cooked on was also what kept our little house warm.
Mom had made chocolate pudding for dessert that day and I could hardly wait to eat it!
I remember Mom served it in soup bowls and handed me a generous helping.
I enjoyed it and wished for more.
Chocolate pudding has never been my Dad's favorite and I looked over to see that he was not finishing his serving. I asked if I could have it and with a twinkle in his eye he gladly passed over his bowl and I eagerly ate it.
I still was not satisfied and asked Mom if there was any more.
I remember Mom's face as she asked, "You want MORE?" but to my delight she got up and scraped the last of the pudding out of the pot into my bowl.
I had almost finished it when I began to have a funny feeling ... the pudding wasn't sliding down quite so easily but I tried to ignore the unfamiliar sensation. I must have started to look a little green because suddenly Mom jumped up, grabbed the pudding pot and held it under my chin.
Hmmm... how shall I say this delicately ? I'm sure you guessed it - the pot was once again filled with chocolate pudding !
That experience, however, did not spoil my love of the simple dessert ... though I never again ate three generous helpings!
When I make it now it is a memory trigging taste taking me back to my childhood , something the packaged instant or cooked chocolate pudding just doesn't do for me! The flavour of the from scratch, home cooked pudding is just soo much better !
So here is my recipe ...
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup sugar (less if your tooth isn't as sweet as mine)
- 1 tsp vanilla flavouring
- Place milk in saucepan to heat, reserving 1/2 cup
- Mix together cocoa, cornstarch and sugar and then sift to ensure a perfectly velvet smooth pudding
- Stir dry ingredients into 1/2 cup milk , then add to heated milk
- Cook, stirring continuously until it begins to bubble and the pudding thickens.
- Garnish, if desired, with toasted almonds and/or dab of whipped cream or ice-cream.
PS. As noted by a commentor , this can be used as a pie filling. You may, however, want to add a little more cornstarch - maybe a couple of tsp more -- just to make the pudding a little stiffer.