“Charlotte Has Pudding in her Prada”
Not in a million years would I have thought that I'd need an oven to make chocolate pudding from scratch. I guess it's because I always assumed that like Jell-O, you just refrigerate and set chocolate pudding.
There are two types of chocolate pudding--a starchy version (this version is common in the US/Canada and South East Asia) and a cake-y version (common in the UK, Australia, New Zealand).
The earliest recipes can be found in the 1903 edition of the Kentucky Recipe Book. In the late 19th and early 20th century, chocolate pudding was considered good for children and the ill because of its high calorie content. Jell-O came out with their chocolate pudding mix in 1934.
The recipe that I tried for Chocolate Pudding is from the book "Baking" by Dorie Greenspan. Dori Greenspan, with the assistance of Julia Child, wrote the book "Baking with Julia" which corresponded with the TV series. It turned out great, but I have to say--it was a lot more work than I expected. That being said, it's worth the effort! Definitely more appetizing than the pudding packs in the grocery stores (for which I have a LOT more respect for)!
2 1/4 cups whole milk
6 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and still warm
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Have 6 ramekins or pudding cups, each holding 4-6 ounces (1/2-3/4 cup), at hand.
2. Bring 2 cups of the milk and 3 tablespoons of the sugar to a boil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.
3. While the milk is heating, put the cocoa, cornstarch and salt into a food processor and whir to blend. Turn them out onto a piece of wax paper, put the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the egg and egg yolks into the processor and blend for 1 minute.
4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining 1/4 cup milk and pulse just to mix, then add the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to blend.
5.With the machine running, very slowly pour in the hot milk texture. Process for a few seconds, then put everything back into the saucepan.
6.Whisk without stopping over medium heat--making sure to get into the edges of the pan--until the pudding thickens and a couple of bubbles burble up to the surface and pop (about 2 minutes). You want the pudding to thicken, but you don't want it to boil, so lower the heat if necessary.
7.Scrape the pudding back into the processor (if there's a scorched pot, avoid it as you scrape) and pulse a couple of times. add the chocolate, butter and vanilla and pulse until everything is evenly blended.
8. Pour the pudding into the ramekins. If you don't want a skin to form, press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of each pudding to create an airtight seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Using a food processor to mix the ingredients for a cornstarch-thickened pudding and then giving the cooked pudding a final blending in it is unorthodox, but highly effective. Processing ensures a lump-free pudding and it also incorporates a small amount of air, which produces a slightly lighter and more velvety texture.
P.S. In reference to the Post Title--it's a quote Miranda made in the Sex and the City movie when Charlotte pulls out pre-packaged pudding from her Prada at a resort in Mexico in an attempt to eat only US manufactured food to not get sick in Mexico.