Beloved is out in Chicago for a few days at a housewares trade show, so this weekend it’s been just me and The Young One. When asked what he wanted for dinner Saturday night, he said, “Chicken smothered in barbecue sauce.” While it goes against my own personal barbecue code, that’s what I made. Sunday night we got absolutely decadent with breaded pork chops and homemade mac ‘n’ cheese.
I don’t know how we stand the river of haute cuisine that flows unchecked from my kitchen on a daily basis. *cough*
Meals, and even desserts, are always tricky when you take a finicky kid into the equation; I have two pounds of beautiful strawberries I got on sale sitting on my kitchen counter, waiting to be macerated in sugar and turned into strawberry shortcake. Alas, while The Young One loves strawberry flavored Pop-Tarts, that’s about the only thing strawberry he will eat. He does share a love of chocolate with his mother, provided it doesn’t contain odd things like nuts or coconut (heaven forbid) and finding myself with just a few, basic ingredients on hand, I was at a bit of a loss as to just what I should make us for a treat while we began the second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation on DVD Sunday evening.
Then it occurred to me – why not the simplest of desserts, to say nothing of one of the most satisfying?
Chocolate pudding. Simple, economical and delicious.
After making this, The Young One – who is a huge fan of Jello pudding cups – proclaimed he never wanted to eat “store bought” pudding ever again. What more could I ask for?
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon
In a large saucepan, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt and flour. Slowly stir in the milk, whisking the entire time. Cook the mixture over medium heat until almost a pudding consistency, stirring constantly.
Whisk a small amount of the chocolate mixture into the beaten egg yolks to temper them. Add the egg/chocolate mixture back to the pudding, and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the desired consistency. Pour into 6 individual dessert dishes; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
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