holiday recipe

Recipe for chocolate pudding

(Sheryl Julian/Globe Staff)

Serves 6

Alice Medrich, one of the country’s best chocolate bakers, writes in her book “Pure Dessert,” “This has been my chocolate pudding for close to a decade.” She uses unsweetened cocoa powder, cornstarch, whole milk, and bittersweet or semisweet chocolate to make the custard. A recent change to her trusty recipe came when she learned from Dorie Greenspan, another exceptional baker, that a whir in the food processor for 10 seconds would add silkiness to the pudding. (It does indeed, but it’s also great without that last burst in the machine.) Garnish with whipped cream or a little more of the chopped chocolate. Medrich’s latest volume is “Seriously Bitter Sweet.”


cup sugar
cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2tablespoons cornstarch
Large pinch of salt
2cups whole milk
1teaspoon vanilla extract
3ounces bittersweet chocolate (50 to 70 percent) or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1. Set the food processor near the stove. Have a whisk, silicone spatula, and ladle on hand. You’ll also need 6 ramekins or custard cups (½ cup capacity each).

2. In a heavy-bottomed bowl, whisk eggs. Set the bowl near the stovetop.

3. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Stir with the spatula to blend them. Pour about ⅓ cup of the milk into the pan and stir to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until it begins to bubble around the edges. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady low boil and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, sweeping the spatula around the bottom and sides of the pan. Remove from the heat.

4. Ladle 1 cup of the chocolate mixture gradually over the eggs, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and whisk vigorously. Set the pan over low heat and whisk for 30 seconds without letting it come to a simmer. Remove from the heat.

5. Whisk in the vanilla and chocolate until the chocolate melts.

6. Scrape the pudding into the food processor and whir for 10 seconds. Divide the pudding among the ramekins or cups. Leave to cool. Set on a tray and chill before serving. Garnish with whipped cream or chopped chocolate.


Sheryl Julian. Adapted from “Pure Dessert”