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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homemade Pudding-Take 1

As pathetic as this might make me sound, one of my favorite foods from the dining hall in college was the pudding they offered. Hmm, maybe that just makes our college dining hall sound pathetic. Either way, I was no stranger to the pudding bowl ironically found on the salad bar. I usually steered away from the chocolate or vanilla and instead opted for pistachio or, even better, banana pudding, which I then supplemented with oreo cookie chunks from the ice cream station. I cringe when I think of how many bowls of pudding I consumed in my three and a half years of college. Eh, moderation in everything, right? Granted, I struggle with obeying that mantra from time to time (read on to find out why).

More than two years out of college now, I have hardly thought about bowls of pudding...that is until one day last week when I found myself with a large container of milk that was getting ready to expire. Faced with eating countless bowls of cereal or making a batch of homemade pudding, I opted for the pudding figuring I'd serve it at our weekly community group with freshly whipped cream. With my decision made, I set about to make the pudding and found this recipe on Lynn's Kitchen Adventures.

To make a long story short, homemade pudding is a food for the patient in heart. My pudding took a long time to thicken...I stirred and stirred and stirred and was about to throw in the towel when magically it thickened before my eyes. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I either cooked it over too high of heat or that I put it in the fridge too soon. When I eagerly dug in with a spoon later that night, I was confused. I didn't make tapioca pudding, did I? Nope, definitely not. And yet my pudding was full of lumps! Hopeful, I thought maybe when I woke up the next morning the lumps would have magically disappeared. No such luck!

Not wanting to subject my friends to lumpy pudding, I made another dessert (to be posted soon). And then I was left with a giant batch of lumpy chocolate pudding. I've never been bothered by texture, so the lumps didn't present any sort of a problem for me. In fact, the pudding still tasted absolutely delicious--creamy (wherever the lumps weren't present, ha), chocolately, and without any of that fake, manufactured pudding taste. Here's where that lesson in moderation comes in...it took me two days to finish off that pudding. TWO. All by myself (Ryan helped with maybe 3 bites). While the pudding really is THAT good, it is definitely not intended to be consumed in vast amounts and in such a short period of time. Lesson learned.

And in case you're wondering, I WILL be attempting homemade pudding once again. Don't let my tale of the lumps scare you, this recipe is definitely worth a shot! In fact, please make it, I want to hear some success stories!

Homemade Double Chocolate Pudding

-1 cup sugar
-6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup cornstarch
-1/8 tsp salt
-5 1/4 cups milk
-4 tbsp butter
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Place over medium heat and stir in milk.
2. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
3. Remove from heat and stir in butter, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Stir until chocolate chips have melted.
4. Serve warm, or chill in refrigerator until serving.