When presenting recipes to my tasting team, aka my husband and 13-year old son, there are dishes that get feedback like “NEVER make that again” and “that was pretty good but not really blog worthy”… thank goodness there are enough that get the sure-hit “Wow!” or Two-Thumbs-Up approval, which then become the only recipes that make it to Good Dinner Mom. And when a dessert is in the hot-seat… it’s my husband’s reaction that determines if something is not only blog-worthy, but also in-fact, phenomenal. Dave is very disciplined when it comes to sweets so we usually share dessert. But he finished this one without pushing the cup my way or even offering me a bite. In fact, when he took one bite of No-Cook Chocolate Pudding and gave his seldom exclaimed “wow”, I knew I was going to have to get my own cup because there’d be little or no sharing with this one. (psst… until this recipe, he usually only does this with Aunt Pat’s Famous Cream Puffs.)
No-Cook Chocolate Pudding tastes rich and delicious and not only are you assured to get your own “mmm’s” and “wow!”, but you can make it in one Pyrex 8-cup measuring cup, requiring little cleanup. Plan ahead because the pudding needs time to set in the refrigerator; at least 6 hours, overnight is ideal because the flavors will meld even further for perfect synergy. But if you can’t stand to wait for the pudding to set, use this recipe for the peculiar but popular Chocolate Soup (serving immediately after ingredients are melted together).
Any way you serve it, No-Cook Chocolate Pudding is amazing, whether an after-dinner or after-school treat or for a romantic evening. Change things up by adding flavored liqueur or extract to the pudding or whipped cream in place of the vanilla extract; consider orange, raspberry, or hazelnut flavors. Also, since the recipe is a decadent treat with ingredients like heavy cream and butter on the list, serve the pudding in tiny espresso cups for less guilt as well as impressive presentation. Toppings can include flavored whipped cream, chocolate shavings, fresh fruit or try a drizzle of caramel with pink Himalayan salt.
Let’s also talk about what chocolate to use; 70% cacao chocolate is not for everyone. We didn’t find this too dark at all, but Dave and I love even 100% cacao bars. So if you crave the milky sweetness that comes from semi-sweet or even milk chocolate, use either of these or a combination, however if you use a lower cacao content, the pudding will never really ‘set’. The taste will be amazing but even the next day, your pudding is still almost pourable. This didn’t deter anyone at my house though, especially my youngest critic who prefers sweeter chocolate.
No-Cook Chocolate Pudding is a great recipe to have in your repertoire and can be made Valentine’s Day festive or can be enjoyed whenever you want that chocolate-fabulous treat. And as you can see, you can customize this in so many ways. Let me know what variations you come up with!
- 1¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed
- 8 oz. bittersweet (70%) chocolate, finely chopped (1½ cups)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (tasty with less or no sugar too)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of table salt
- Sweetened whipped cream, chocolate shavings, or fresh raspberries for garnish (optional)
- Have six 4- to 6-oz. ramekins or teacups ready for pouring.
- Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan or microwave until just boiling. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add the chocolate, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the ramekins or cups. Depending on the size of the ramekins, they'll be filled about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way.
- Cover with plastic (not touching the surface of the puddings) and refrigerate until chilled and thickened, at least 6 hours or up to 3 days.
- Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and a few chocolate shavings, if you like. Ripe raspberries are a beautiful adornment and also taste delicious with the chocolate.
- Other options: change out vanilla extract for orange, raspberry, or hazelnut liqueur or flavoring. Serve right after making for chocolate soup. Change out the 70% chocolate for sweeter semi-sweet or even milk chocolate. Take note; if you use anything less than 70%, the pudding will remain pourable as it won't set completely. Still fabulous, though!
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking.