My family loves chocolate. This is a genetic trait inherited from my husband. I have many chocolate recipes that I like, but only a few that I love. I made Smitten Kitchen's "Best Chocolate Pudding" the other day, and it went over very well. So well in fact that there was nothing left of a double batch at the end of the day. The ease and beauty of this pudding makes it one of the top 5 of all time.
The Best Chocolate Pudding
Serves 6 to 7
1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups (710 ml) whole milk
6 ounces (170 grams) semi- or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1 cup good chocolate chips)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan, Slowly whisk in the milk, in a thin steam at first so that lumps don’t form, then more quickly once the cornstarch mixture is smoothly incorporated. Place over medium-low heat and stir occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. Use a whisk as necessary should lumps begin to form. After 10 minutes or so (slower over lower heat is better, to give the cornstarch time to cook), before it starts to simmer, the mixture should begin to thicken, enough that it will coat the back of a spoon. Add the chocolate, and continue stirring for another 2 to 4 minutes, until chocolate is fully incorporated and mixture is quite thick. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
If you’re concerned about lumps: Run mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
Distribute among individual pudding cups or one large serving bowl, and chill until it is cool and set, about 2 to 3 hours.
If you dislike pudding skin: Put plastic on top of the pudding and smooth it gently against the surface before refrigerating.
Do ahead: Pudding is good for 3 days in the fridge but nobody I know would allow it to last that long.
Recipe via The Smitten Kitchen
The French Silk Pie recipe is a great one for families as it is also shockingly easy to make, goes over with bang, and will have your family talking about it to their friends. Sooooo... just a disclaimer about that, it might not be your husband telling his friends, but if you have all sons, they will tell their friends. It really is the highest compliment a mom that cooks can get.
French Silk Pie
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated ugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
(optional) 1/4 tsp. espresso powder
1 fully pre-baked 9-inch pie shell (homemade or store-bought)
3 cups whipped cream
1 chocolate bar, roughly chopped or shaved or melted into chocolate curls
Heat chocolate in a glass bowl in short intervals and giving a good stir in-between, until completely melted. Set this melted chocolate aside to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. When melted chocolate has cooled, add it to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until thoroughly until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Switch to the whisk attachment. Add one egg, and beat for 5 minutes of medium speed. Repeat with remaining three eggs, beating the mixture for an additional 5 minutes after each egg. (20 minutes total.) Pour the filling into a baked pie shell in a and use a spatula to spread out the top evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until chilled before serving.
Top with desired amount of whipped cream, then garnish with chocolate shavings or curls.
*I adopted this recipe years ago and it has been in my file ever since. I do not have the source but want to acknowledge that I was inspired by someone else's work.