Basic chocolate pudding

  • Serves 3–4.
  • 15–20 minutes, plus time to chill.

This is, as the title says, your basic stovetop chocolate pudding. Nothing fancy, but it is plenty good enough for any weeknight and really doesn’t take all that long to make.

    • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
    • 6 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 egg yolks
    • [frac]1/4[/frac] teaspoon salt

    Combine in a heavy-bottomed pot. (Or, to make the whisking easier, in a bowl, then transfer it to the pot for cooking.)

    • 2 cups lowfat milk
    • [frac]1/2[/frac] cup cream

    Slowly whisk in. If you have a few small lumps, don’t panic; you can strain them out at the end.

  1. Bring to a boil. Medium-high heat is fine if your pot has a heavy bottom and you stir constantly. Let the pudding boil for one minute after it thickens.

  2. Remove from the heat and strain, if you like, through a fine-mesh strainer

    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 tablespoon butter

    Stir in.

  3. Portion out into serving bowls. Cover each with plastic wrap, setting the plastic directly on the pudding surface to prevent skins from forming.

    • More cream, whipped (optional)

    Serve topped with whipped cream, if you like!


  • I call for lowfat milk and cream here because that’s what I usually have on hand. If you have whole milk around, by all means use it; in that case you could increase the milk to 2[frac]1/4[/frac] cups and decrease the cream accordingly, or not, if you want to make it rich.
  • If you want a richer pudding, you can add some melted semisweet or bittersweet chocolate after it’s boiled.
  • Don’t fear the heat! The cornstarch will prevent the egg yolks from curdling, and you must boil the pudding thoroughly, because otherwise an enzyme in the yolks will break down the starch and leave your pudding weepy.
  • If you don’t have plastic wrap, rub the top of each serving with a pat of butter while it’s still hot. The melted butter will also prevent a skin from forming.