Recipe: Tartine Bakery's Chocolate Pudding

When I tasted Tartine's Chocolate Pudding for the first time, I thought: "This is how chocolate pudding should taste!" It has the right balance of richness and the texture is velvety smooth. Overall, this dessert just makes you happy. I decided to make this at home on Valentine's Day because chocolate is the thing to eat on this day of love. Why get your romantical chocolate in a heart shaped box when you can get it on a spoon?

This recipe is easy for bakers of all levels (truth!) and is relatively fast. No baking is involved, just some stove-top action. Once you portion it out, it doesn't take long to cool, so this pudding can be in your belly in under a couple hours. #fistpump

If you're looking to step up your pudding game, look no further. Tartine, thanks for nailing chocolate pudding.

Tartine Bakery's Chocolate Pudding
Recipe from Tartine Bakery Cookbook
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 3⁄4 cups (14 oz/425 ml) whole milk
1⁄2 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons (5 oz/155 ml) heavy cream (plus 1 cup/8 oz for topping later on)
1⁄4 cup (1 oz/30 g) cornstarch
3⁄4 cup (5 oz/140 g) sugar
3 tablespoons (45 ml) cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1⁄4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt
2 1⁄2 ounces (70 g) bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1.  Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large heat-proof container.
2.  In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream; heat to just under a boil. Pro Tip: When you start to see a good amount of steam while you're stirring it, you're close!
3.  Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and sugar; sift in the cocoa powder; whisk until blended.
4.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt until blended, then add to the sugar mixture and whisk until well combined.
5.  Slowly add half of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Pro Tip: Don't rush this part or, as my chef has said, you'll make "egg-drop soup!"
6.  Pour the combined egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk mixture; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture has visibly thickened and reads 208° on a thermometer, should take about 5-7 minutes, depending on how cold your eggs are.
7.  Immediately pour the contents of the pan through the sieve. Pro Tip: to help it along, use a small ladle/spatula/spoon to push it through, moving it in a circular motion.
8.  Add the chocolate and let the heat of the milk/egg mixture melt it.
9.  When the chocolate has melted, blend with an immersion blender for a full 5 minutes until no lumps are visible. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the container with a rubber spatula here and there.
10.  Immediately portion pudding into individual cups; let cool, and serve at room temperature, topped with whipped cream.
FYI: The pudding will keep, well covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Want to get wild and crazy?
• Try adding some cinnamon and cayenne pepper during the immersion blender stage (or earlier, whatevs) to taste and you've got yourself a Mexican Chocolate Pudding! Boom.
• Try adding some mint OR orange extract to taste (start small!) for a mint (or orange) chocolate experience. Blammo.