Last week I was fancying rich and creamy pudding. Vanilla pudding would have been too — well, vanilla. Chocolate pudding could have been a nice option, but I wanted something a bit more full-flavored so I ended up with mocha pudding. You can easily modify this versatile delicacy to plain vanilla or something more interesting. I’ll give some ideas in the end of this post.
Combine all the ingredients except cocoa powder in a saucepan and heat over extremely low heat whisking all the time until the mixture thickens. Don’t let boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add cocoa powder while constantly whisking.
Serve with whipped cream and/or dark chocolate shavings. (Count extra carbs.)
The whole batch:
Per portion if 4 portions in a batch:
Per portion if 6 portions in a batch:
Per portion if 8 portions in a batch:
Tips for making the pudding
Be sure to heat the mixture over a low enough heat and stir constantly along the bottom. If the heat is too high, the pudding will taste burnt and will turn into porridge. Heating should be finished latest at the moment you see few bubbles when the mixture comes to the boil. If you hesitate, you can use a double boiler or water bath. I once read that when making smooth sauce or anything similar (like this pudding) which needs heating eggs, the temperature should be lower than 181 °F (83 °C), otherwise the mixture forms lumps. Unfortunately I don’t remember the source where I read that from.
You can serve and eat the pudding immediately, but it’s worth waiting a bit since the pudding tastes best the next day. The pudding will also thicken while cooling, especially if you put it in the fridge.
My experiments with the pudding
The first mocha pudding experiment I made with 100% baking chocolate and with 3 eggs. The result was almost curdled, or at least not smooth. I wondered what went wrong and wanted to give a try to cocoa powder. That brought great and smooth results.
My first experiments were far too sweet. I started with 2/3 cup (160 ml) erythritol and the pudding tasted awkward because it was so sweet. Next I tried 1/2 cup (120 ml) erythritol and the result was still too sweet. Then I tried vanilla stevia. I started with 20 drops, but that gave almost no sweetness, just some aftertaste typical to stevia. I added 10 drops and ended up with altogether 40 drops. There was a hint of vanilla flavor and quite a strong aftertaste of stevia. Sweet? Nope. Although I have to admit that a hint of vanilla was pretty nice.
Next experiment I tried again with only erythritol as sweetener. I used 1/4 cup (60 ml) and that was slightly too little. Adding one tablespoon erythritol (so altogether 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon = 75 ml) gives the best amount of sweetness to my taste. Even I usually like very sweet, this pudding is not that sweet. But, like always, please adjust the sweetness to your liking and use your preferred sweetener when experimenting with this pudding. It’s better to use little at first and add more later. Erythritol dissolves in hot pudding quite easily.
At some point I also added another egg, so altogether 4 eggs. That made a real thick pudding which thickened even more after being some hours in the fridge. In this final recipe however, I have used 3 eggs since the structure is smoother so, and the heating process is somehow easier to control. In case you prefer real thick pudding I recommend to use 4 eggs and to be extra careful with the heating process.
Every time I made the pudding by combining all the ingredients, also cocoa powder, in a saucepan and then heated the mixture. Cocoa powder gave very easily a burnt flavor to the pudding, even I heated the pudding extremely slowly and over a low heat. When I made some other experiments with a sugar-free chocolate toffee icing for low-carb doughnuts, I noticed that the result is better if cocoa powder is added after heating. Therefore in this final recipe cocoa powder is added after the pudding is ready, but still hot. That guarantees that there is absolutely no burnt taste of cacao.
Tips for variation
You can modify this pudding easily:
For chocolate pudding omit the coffee. For extra decadence add some rum flavor or real rum for adults
For coffee pudding omit the cocoa powder
For an extra zing omit the coffee and add 2 teaspoons orange flavor or some orange zest
For vanilla pudding omit the cocoa powder and coffee and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or for even more authentic vanilla flavor, scraped seeds from one lengthwise cut vanilla pod. Heat the empty pod with the pudding and discard before serving
For double layer pudding (chocolate and vanilla) omit the coffee and add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the mixture before heating. Divide the ready, hot pudding mixture in half. For the other half, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and whisk until dissolved. Pour this chocolate pudding into dessert glasses or a serving bowl. Chill for 15 minutes. Pour gently and carefully the remaining vanilla pudding on the chocolate pudding.
Serve as dessert. You can also top low-carb waffles and pancakes with a dollop of pudding, or fill low-carb cakes and crepes with pudding, especially if you make it thick.
Hope you enjoy this recipe. Feel free to share your experiments and modifications with me!
Now we’ve got enough sweet, I think I’m going to publish something savory next. Stay tuned!
Update July 15th, 2012: Updated the recipe. Now the cocoa powder is added after heating, not before, like it was in the first published version of the recipe.
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