Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.
A little sinful? Perhaps. But, I believe everyone needs a few desserts under their belt if for no other reason than to break out on a rainy day. Homemade chocolate pudding is a nostalgic must-have and naturally gluten-free. Superfine sugar isn’t crucial, but it’s smoother and melts easier. The vanilla gives the whipped cream a little boost and can be made a few hours ahead of time. The pudding can be made up to 1 day ahead, but both are best served fresh.
1 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups whole milk
⅓ cup sugar, divided (superfine sugar if available)
In a medium saucepan, whisk together all but 1 tablespoon of sugar with cornstarch and salt. Whisk in ½ cup of milk and egg yolks until smooth. Slowly add the remaining milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly so not to boil over.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips, butter and ¼ teaspoon vanilla. Stir together until melted and smooth. Pour pudding into 6 ramekins or small bowls, or 1 large bowl and cover. Chill for at least 3 hours, but up to a day.
For topping, beat cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until peaks form. Serve pudding with a dollop or two of whipped cream.