i want to call this mexican hot chocolate pudding, but i don’t know that it is very authentic in any way. the flavors (sans cayenne) are reminiscent of the hot chocolate my spanish teacher in high school used to make for us. the chocolate is darker and the cinnamon more prominent…and well, there’s the cayenne. it adds a really nice heat in the back of the throat. so, so good. last year for sean’s birthday i bought his cake from the baker (whose name i forgot! sorry…) at se7en and sup. it had a chai-chocolate cake base, chocolate mousse, ganache, and somewhere in there quite a bit of heat. i close my eyes and dream of that cake. seriously.
back to the pudding. growing up we did not eat pudding. in large part because my mom is not the biggest fan of pudding (or cheese or beans, wtf?!) and another being that i thought the texture was weird. sometimes during the holidays my grandma would make chocolate pie with homemade chocolate pudding…my brothers favorite. recently sean told me he doesn’t love pudding either. well, when sean says he doesn’t like a certain food, i ususally try to prove him wrong. i do this for a few reasons, but number one being that usually if i make it he loves it. part ego boost, part i-told-you-so. this pudding is the pudding of my dreams. as homey and comforting as pudding may seem, this is lusicous and decadent. a beautiful pudding fit for any occasion. i dressed it up by layering it (snack pack style) with some unsweetened whipped cream in shot glasses and i sprinkled some hazelnut streusel over the top. it was so good that i am sad there is none left. this pudding has opened my eyes to pudding possibilities that i could have never imagined.
chocolate hazelnut streusel
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
5 tbsp butter
heat oven to 350 F.
pulse hazelnuts in food processor for a few seconds to break up. add all ingredients except for butter and pulse to combine. add butter, pulsing, until the texture of coarse sand is reached. turn out mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. cool completely and break up with a fork.
(mexican) chocolate pudding
adapted from Baking: from my home to yours…by dorie greenspan
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, scraped
6 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg and 2 large yolks
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and still warm
2 tbsp unsalted butter cut into pieces, at room temp
have six ramekins ready (or a mixture of vessels) for finished pudding.
bring 2 cups of milk and scraped vanilla to a boil with 3 tablespoons of sugar in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
whisk together cocoa, cornstarch , cayenne, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. set aside. in a food processor put remaining sugar, egg and yolks and blend for 1 minute. scrape down sides and add remaining 1/4 cup milk–blend–and then add dry ingredients and blend to combine. with the machine running very slowly add heated milk and process to combine for a few seconds. pour everything back into the sauce pan and heat, stirring constantly over medium heat until the pudding thickens and a few bubble appear–do not boil! Scrape everything back into food processor and add butter and melted chocolate and pulse to combine. pour into dishes and chill.