Like much of the country, Hotlanta has been living up to its name lately, with temperatures soaring over 100 every day and like 90%+ humidity. You feel like you’re being broiled every time you walk outside (get in the car, wake up and get out of bed, etc.). The humidity is really what kills you, it steals your breath and your will to do anything.
Suffice to say, I have been trying to turn on the oven as little as possible, since it makes my little 600-square-foot apartment feel like a hot yoga studio. But this is hard since I love roasting vegetables and baking delicious treats, and every weekend I try to treat myself to some dessert. So I was racking my brain this past weekend for something easy and cold, and then had the perfect idea: chocolate cornstarch pudding. I have no idea where the recipe originally came from, but it’s been a staple in my family since I can remember.
Look at that awesome cold, creamy, sweet awesomeness. What’s especially awesome about this pudding is that 1) it’s super easy, 2) it doesn’t require many ingredients, and 3) it’s not too sweet or bad for you.
Get a big saucepan and turn the burner on to medium—like 4-6 depending on your stove. Err on the side of slightly too low, because you don’t want to burn the milk.
Pour seven of the cups of milk into the sauce pan and let it start heating up, stirring occasionally to keep from scalding on the bottom.
In a blender or food processor, put the remaining cup of milk and add the sugar.
At this point if you’re like me you’ll realize you don’t have enough cornstarch and you’ll panic. Turn the burner off, put all the milk in the fridge and go to the store to get cornstarch. Don’t worry, we’ll wait…
Add the cornstarch and the cocoa powder to the blender, and blend to combine everything.
When the milk has started to steam (not boil), add the blended chocolate cornstarch milk mixture to it and begin stirring constantly.
And stir. And stir.
For forever. You’ll probably have to apply a decent amount of pressure as you stir, since the milk will start congealing and trying to scald on the bottom of the pan as soon as you add the thickening. You’ll end up with a glob of it on the bottom of your spoon, this isn’t a big deal.
When the mixture comes to a soft boil (intermittent big blob bubbles, not a rolling boil), remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. I immediately dip some up and stick it in the freezer, because I like it much better cold (my mom disagrees). Then I stick the rest in the fridge. It will develop a kind of skin on top. Not sure what you can do about this, I’ve heard putting plastic wrap over it prevents this but I wouldn’t recommend this with a hot pan. But I eat the skin, there’s nothing wrong with it.
Cold, slurpy awesomeness. This chocolate cornstarch pudding is a perfect summer dessert—yes, you have to turn the stove on, but it doesn’t take long and you get cold (or hot, if you’re weird), creamy delicious pudding at the end. You could also technically make this as vanilla pudding and just omit the cocoa powder. But…why?!
Alternative idea: Lemon Cornstarch Pudding
Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding
- 8 cups of milk
- 1 cup of sugar (I often go a bit light)
- 3/4 cup of packed cornstarch
- 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Place 7 cups of milk in a big saucepan on low-to-medium until steaming, stirring occasionally.
Place the other cup of milk in the blender with the sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa.
Once the milk on the stove is steaming, add the cup of milk/cocoa from the blender slowly.
Stir constantly to keep from sticking/burning, until the milk comes to a light bubbling boil (not rolling). Then add the vanilla and remove from heat.