I woke up at 3:30 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep.Â I started to think of all the things I had forgotten to do, and all the things I could have done better.Â Then I was convinced that tiny pieces of paint from the ceiling were dropping onto the floor by the bed.Â This has happened before.Â I live in a building over a hundred years old, that had the supporting beam cut by a third in the 70’s when they put the bathrooms in.Â Typically I shake up my husband awake and ask him to explain the warning signs of a ceiling about to cave, but I didn’t have the heart.Â He didn’t get home from work until nearly midnight.
Have I mentioned how much I love sugar?Â In the form of a deep dark chocolate pudding, sugar is my go-to BFF when I’m in no place to lay the stress on the table and figure the whole thing out, when what I’m looking for is an ace bandage of Creamy Comfort.Â I have gotten jobs based on this recipe for chocolate pudding.Â When everyone else was building leaning towers of pastry, my signature dessert was a little puddle of chocolate pudding with a square of rich, moist chocolate cake sitting in the middle, fresh and hardly whipped cream on top of that, and a circle of bittersweet chocolate fudge sauce around the whole thing.Â If you really want to go crazy, dip two walnuts halves in caramelized sugar, allow to harden and then dip in chocolate to nest on the side.
In a very heavy and non aluminum saucepan, heat 3 1/2 cups of whole milk (this is not time for skim) to a scalding (teeny bubbles will form around the edge of the pan.) Â Â Whisk the milk into a mixture of 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt.Â Put the mixture back on medium heat, and allow to thicken, stirring constantly.
In a heatproof bowl, whisk 4 large egg yolks to combine.Â Pour a little of the hot milk mixture, into the eggs, and whisk.Â Add a bit more, and whisk again.Â This is to temper the eggs (heat them up slowly.)Â Now add all of the milk mixture, whisking the whole time, and then pour everything back into the pan.Â Allow it to come to the boil, and as soon as you see the first bubble, remove from the heat.Â Pour the mixture through a strainer. Whisk in 2 ounces of finely chopped unsweetened chocolate, 6 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.Â The better the quality of chocolate, the better the pudding.Â I like (love) Belgian.Â You don’t want to use chips, because most have wax added to them to help them keep their shape.Â If you like to guild the lily, add a tiny pour of heavy cream. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a piece of plastic wrap.Â This is a beautiful thing with organic whipped cream.Â If you can get your hands on organic sugar, do it.