What to write about when you’re home alone, especially when your secret stash of chocolate has run out? Like many bloggers I get most of my blogging ideas from my daily activities, but since my calendar is now as clear as the newly recovered Venice canals, such planned activities as the apple blossom orchard tour, the Jane Austen tea party or the visit to the Van goth exhibit are all off the table for the unforeseeable future. But we all have to eat…..and chocolate has an excellent reputation for cheering people up.
I was moaning about the Easter Bunny not visiting my house this weekend, so a chocoholic friend send me a recipe for a microwave chocolate pudding just like mom used to make. This makes one large portion, or two small ones. You can repeat for how ever many family members you are stranded with on your COVID life raft. The best thing is you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen, so no need to risk your life by going to the grocery store, although I did add cornstarch to my list – does cornstarch have an expiry date?
Mix together 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 3 tbsp sugar, either granulated or icing sugar, and add 3/4 cup of milk. I used regular sugar. Whisk until well blended.
Microwave, COVERED, 90 seconds on high. Remove, whisk again, microwave another 90 seconds. Add 1/4 tsp vanilla after cooking. Best served warm, but refrigerate if not eating right away.
This makes one large portion but was very rich so I split it into two ramekins.
If you want to double the recipe, then microwave the whole thing for an additional 90 seconds, or just make a separate batch. Adjust the cooking time for the size of your microwave – 90 seconds for an 800W microwave, for 1000W microwave try 75 seconds at a time.
Adjust the amounts of sugar and cocoa to your liking, depending on your brand. My initial recipe called for 3 tablespoons of cocoa, but it was way too chocolatey, so I decreased it to 2 tablespoons, and even that was more than sufficient with my fancy French cocoa. I might try a bit less next time. I also used a LEVEL or calibrated tablespoon measuring device to measure the dry ingredients (something I seldom do), so I would know for the future what proportions worked best. Whisk well or you will have lumps of cocoa in the final product.
As my friend, who has surely forgotten my lack of cooking expertise, did not specify re covered and as I’m always one to admit to my cooking disasters, my first attempt, using a large cereal bowl covered by a paper towel resulted in the pudding spilling all over the sides onto the microwave plate, requiring much swearing and many paper towels to clean up, so make sure you use a large enough ie a quart size bowl. (I made this same mistake the first time I made microwave strawberry jam so I should have known better). The next time I used a Corning-ware casserole dish with a glass lid and put the cover on slightly ajar – no mess.
Yummy, quick and so easy, especially on the days you’re craving chocolate, plus unlike a box of chocolates, there are no left-overs to tempt you later.
PS. I much prefer butterscotch pudding but the brand I bought for years, which required heating on the stove and was the staple of many a Sunday night supper, was discontinued long ago, so I tried to make this same recipe with butterscotch ice cream topping and light brown sugar but didn’t get the measurements quite right – it looked and tasted like a very sweet very pale caramel glue. Oh well, lots of time to experiment these days. Must remember to add Easter Bunnies to my next “mission impossible” list – they’ll be on sale too! Happy Easter, or Passover, or just have a good weekend!
PS. I’m only doing a grocery store run every three weeks now. If we run out of something, we just improvise or do without, mostly the fresh produce, milk etc. I really stock up but I’m also buying for my mother who still lives in her own house at 94, and I am grateful she decided she wasn’t ready to move yet as many of our COVID deaths have been in nursing/retirement homes. My mother grew up during the (1930’s) Great Depression and WW2 remembers people being out of work and getting ration coupons for sugar, meat etc. Her family always had enough food to eat, but she had classmates who did not. So although we may be frustrated with the current situation, we’re all safe in our own homes with food on the table. A small dose of perspective…..
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!” – a Depression era saying.