Shelle's Chocolate Pudding

Serves 4
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cost: $1.00
(sugar: .16, cocoa: .25, milk: . 26, eggs: .20, butter: .12, other stuff: .01)

Note on sugar: It can be reduced. Don't go too crazy, but you can safely shave off about  1/8-1/4 C and still have a lovely pudding. Frankly, I don't. I believe I stated at the beginning of this post that I. have. a. problem.)

1 C sugar
1/2 C cocoa
2 Tbsp cornstarch
dash salt
1 C milk (would probably work with skim milk, but have only made it with milk containing some % of fat)
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk it together in a saucepan so there are no lumps.

In separate bowl, whisk egg yolks into milk.

Add milk/egg mixture to dry mixture. Whisk together.

Stirring frequently, heat to a gentle boil. Let it boil a minute or two. Take off the heat and add butter and vanilla.

Eat it hot out of the pan if you will. You'll be surprised how amazing it is (just don't burn your tongue, okay.) Or put it in containers and cover it with plastic wrap. If you don't like the skin (we do), place the plastic wrap against the actual surface of the pudding. It's excellent warm or cold. You can garnish with whipped cream or drop a few chocolate chips into the warm pudding before it cools (that's my favorite way).

Note: If you'd like a cheaper version (or a lower-fat version for that matter) omit the egg yolks and the butter. I make this version when I want a simple sweet thing for myself on a ho-hum weeknight. It will not be quite as rich, but it is still amazing and so much better than anything--anything--you will get from a box. (You'll save about a quarter and about 100 calories {mostly fat calories} per serving. With all that milk and the antioxidants from the cocoa, you can even pretend it's a healthy snack if you'd like.)
Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate