Creamy Mexican Pudding

Mexican chocolate pudding, that is. The Cook’s Illustrated website offered this complex, “adult” variation with flavourings like vanilla, cinnamon, espresso and chili. I love these things in chocolate chili ice cream so I was excited to try it in a pudding.

On Friday morning, I followed the recipe, and assembled all the dry ingredients. We actually had chipotle chili powder: our spice drawer is pretty complete. It’s important to thoroughly mix the cornstarch with sugar, to reduce clumping. We didn’t have heavy cream or whole milk: I substituted with half-and-half, and 2% milk.

Once the cream and yolks are incorporated, they start to dissolve the dry ones, and I slowly poured the milk in while constantly whisking. This tempering method helps to reduce lumps. Once heated, the mixture appears unchanged at first, but as it gets hotter, it starts to thicken very quickly. The whole process probably took 20 minutes or so, and would have been faster had I already had chopped chocolate available.

Everyone, including my son, loved this slightly spicy chocolate pudding. It was creamy, not too rich or disgustingly thick, and very satisfying. The great thing about making pudding from scratch is that it’s not a lot of work at all, and this recipe can be made in the morning, and be ready in time for dinner.

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