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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chocolate pudding

This makes an easy and delicious chocolate pudding, but I believe that it must be made with 18% cream. If you do not use at least whole milk (3.5% milk fat) then I wouldn't bother.

Chocolate Pudding Recipe
In a heavy pot mix 3 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (I use Bird's) or just plain cornstarch if you do not have custard powder, 3 tablespoons white sugar or substitute, and 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (or more if you like it really chocolaty) and 1/2 teaspoon up to 1 tablespoon either instant coffee crystals or finely ground coffee grounds. The small amount of coffee intensifies the chocolate flavour, and the greater amount will give a mocha flavoured pudding.
Put 1/2 cup cream into the dry ingredients and gently stir with a wire whisk until it is all smooth and combined, which can take a few minutes to get the cocoa powder to create an emulsion with the cream.
Then add another 2 cups of cream, gently stir, and place on medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a gentle boil and becomes very thick. (You really have to stand there and stir or you will regret it if you pop off to answer the phone or whatever. Best to prop yourself with a magazine and just wait it out, stirring all the while.)
Take the pot off the heat and if you have used plain cornstarch, add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Put the pudding into 6 small dishes, and immediately cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down right against the top of the pudding so as to avoid a thick and nasty skin on the top of the puddings. This last step is a little fiddly, but is essential for a smooth and creamy pudding.
Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Whisking the pudding which is just coming to a boil.
It is now very thick and  at this point it was decanted into the ramekins.
The pudding in the ramekins. When you scrape out the last thick bits with a spatula it looks not so pretty, but the plastic wrap on top smooths things out by the time you eat it.

Plastic wrap scooshed down on the level with the pudding and ready to go in the fridge.

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