Chocolate Thunder Pudding

Circle B Kitchen
Just a quick word about the importance of using a good quality cocoa powder here.  I use a dark belgian cocoa powder that makes this luxuriously rich.  I have not had good luck with Chatfields cocoa powder from Whole Foods.  It cooks up sort of grainy, which is definitely not good eats.  If you're making this for the kiddos, just omit the Kahlua and add vanilla.  If you're making this for both adults and kids, you can divide the pudding in half and add your kahlua to half and vanilla to the other half.  If you'd like to make this into a chocolate pie, which I heartily recommend, you can easily spread it into a pre-baked pie crust and top with whipped cream before refrigerating.  If you'd like to make it into a sort of chocolate mousse pie, fold your whipped cream into the pudding mixture before adding it to your pie shell.


Yields about 8 4-6-oz servings

Ingredients
6 ounces chocolate chips (semisweet or dark chocolate)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
3 large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups milk*
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/3 cup Kahlua

*Depending on how thick you like your pudding, or if you're putting this in a pie shell, if you're using the 1/3 cup Kahlua, you might want to cut back on the milk by 1/4 cup.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the cream, a little at a time, until you have a smooth mixture and then whisk in the egg yolks. 

Pour the milk into a 3-quart saucepan. Add the sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Slowly pour most of the hot milk into the bowl of cream and egg yolks. whisking until well-combined, then pour everything back into the pan.

Bring the pudding mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  After the pudding starts boiling, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. 

After 2 minutes, remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips.  Whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and blended and then stir in the vanilla or the Kahlua, if using.

Divide the pudding into small ramekins or dessert cups, cover each with plastic wrap (to avoid creating a skin on top) and chill for at least 2 hours.  Serve with whipped cream if desired.