Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

There are certain things that are best left to professionals. Asbestos removal, for example. Or complex surgery. Heck, even simple surgery. But there are other projects that just about anyone can pull off, and it boggles the mind that someone ever managed to convince us otherwise. Like making pudding from scratch.

Listen to me, people: do not pay for pudding mix. Ever. Pudding is one of the easiest things you can make. I guarantee that 4 out of 5 of you have all the necessary ingredients in your pantry right now. You take some milk, add some sugar to sweeten, a bit cocoa or vanilla to flavor, and a few spoonfuls of cornstarch to thicken. That's it. There are variations using eggs as well, which are also delicious, but the pudding they make is a bit heavier (and you have the added requirement of constant stirring, to make sure the eggs thicken evenly instead of clumping into unappetizing little curds). A basic pudding like this one is delicious, cheap, and dead simple. It takes less than 10 minutes start to finish.

This particular version is spiked with a dash of cinnamon for a Mexican flavor, which makes for a nice alternative to the standard straight-up chocolate. It's sweet-but-not-overly, and is relatively light and healthy. This version makes enough for 4, in theory, though the two of us have been known to polish it off in a day.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pudding

adapted from Gourmet, February 2009
serves 4 (or fewer)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
large pinch salt
2 cups almond milk (you can substitute regular milk, or milk alternative, with equivalent results)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter or margarine, cut into a few bits
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place brown sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, cinnamon and salt in a pot, and whisk to combine. Pour in the milk, and whisk again. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and then boil for one full minute, whisking constantly (it will thicken noticeably). Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, and stir to combine. Pour into serving bowls (or bowl, depending on how you'd like to serve it). Chill until cool, or else eat it right away.


  1. Also, do not ever buy premade oatmeal. Anyone can make oatmeal.

    I'm going to make this pudding tonight! I expect it'll all be polished off in one sitting. There are four of us, after all.


  2. Cornstarch is Evil. I use whole wheat flour.