Chocolate puddings are a class of desserts with chocolate flavours. There are two main types: a steamed/baked version, texturally similar to cake, popular in the Australia, UK, Ireland, and New Zealand ; and a boiled then chilled dessert, texturally a custard set with starch, commonly eaten in the U.S., Canada, Sweden, and East and South East Asia[no_toc]
- 150 g dark chocolate
- 150 g butter
- 50 g plain flour
- 100 g icing sugar
- 3 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Line 6 x 8 cm dessert rings with baking paper, with the paper sticking out above the ring (see notes). Put them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Melt the chocolate with the butter over a water bath (see notes).
- In another stainless-steel bowl, mix the flour and the icing sugar. Gradually add the egg, using a whisk to avoid lumps. Add the melted butter and chocolate.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared rings. Bake for 8–12 minutes. The middle should be darker than the edges.
Lining a tin or mould is indispensable for some desserts, to avoid the preparation sticking to the sides. Use acetate cake band (quite rigid plastic) or baking paper. Acetate cake band is better for mousse-based desserts because it doesn’t wrinkle. Cut it 2 cm longer than the circumference of the mould. Use 4 cm or 6 cm wide cake band depending on the dessert. If you use baking paper, grease the mould lightly so that the paper sticks. The cake band will stick by itself.
A water bath (bain-marie) heats ingredients with steam rather than direct contact with a heat source. The heat on the mixtures is less intense, which means it heats them gently. This prevents chocolate from burning or eggs from coagulating. Take a large saucepan and a stainless-steel bowl that will rest on the edge without being in contact with the water. Put water in the saucepan and heat it (it must be simmering). Put the ingredient/s in the bowl and the bowl on the saucepan, double-checking it does not touch the water.
For a fun variation, push a square of white chocolate into the middle of the dough before baking.
Australasian and British Isles version
In Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and Ireland, chocolate pudding is a steamed dessert which consists of flour, baking powder, sugar, whole eggs, vanilla aroma, and cocoa powder or chocolate mixed together to make a batter and steamed or baked similar to Christmas pudding. Texturally it is similar to chocolate cake, but denser courtesy of being steamed or baked with boiling water poured over the pudding batter.
North American and Asian version
The U.S./Canada and Asian version is one of the most common varieties of sweet or dessert pudding served in these countries. It is usually eaten as a snack or dessert. It is also used as a filling for chocolate pie or black bottom pie.
Historically, it is a variation on chocolate custard, with starch used as thickener rather than eggs. Early versions of the dish using both egg and flour can be found in the 1918 edition of Fannie Farmer’s Boston Cooking School Cook Book and in the 1903 edition of Mary Harris Frazer’s Kentucky Receipt Book.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, chocolate pudding was thought of as an appropriate food for invalids or children as well as a dessert. It was not considered a health food in the modern sense of the term, but as a wholesome, high-calorie food for those with poor appetites. General Foods (Jell-O) introduced chocolate pudding mix in 1934 as “Walter Baker’s Dessert”. It was renamed “Pickle’s Pudding” in 1936.
Modern chocolate puddings are usually made with milk and sugar, flavoured with chocolate and vanilla and thickened with a starch such as flour or cornstarch. Occasionally, eggs are still used when making chocolate pudding. Usually it is cooked together on the stove-top, but other methods exist including microwaving, steaming, baking (sometimes in a bain-marie) or freezing (using gelatin as a thickener). Sometimes white chocolate pudding is made. Chocolate pudding is commonly purchased ready-made in stores, popular brands include Jell-O Pudding by the Kraft Foods Corporation and Snack Pack by Hunt’s.
Many people make their own chocolate puddings at home, but commercially produced versions are commonly available in supermarkets.