Home Alone Chocolate Pudding

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.    

Chocolate Pudding

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.

Chocolate Pudding

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.      

hot chocolate

The COVID Easter Bunny

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.   

27 thoughts on “Home Alone Chocolate Pudding

  1. ruthsoaper says:

    When my husband did our shopping this week he came home with several bags of chocolates. He said we did not want to go with out and prices are going to be going up. I’ll have to remember to put cocoa on his next shopping list. Cornstarch too now that I think about it.
    Back in the late 70’s my grandmother was moving and the family was helping clean out her attic and found a book of ration coupons. My grandmother was a person who saved everything and could find a use for most things. When my daughter called me earlier this week to ask if she could freeze homemade applesauce in Tupperware containers I told her she could also use empty yogurt containers if she had any. that’s what grandma used to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Oh that sounds interesting. I wondered it the ration coupons were specific for items or general, and how they decided how many you got, per household or the size of the family? I’ll have to do some research on it. My mother couldn’t remember much about them as she was young. I’m happy to hear you have a stash of chocolate ahead. I wonder how many things will be in scarce supply if this goes on for a long time. I stocked up on coffee!

      Liked by 1 person

      • ruthsoaper says:

        That would be interesting to read if you do research it. I have read a couple books about the Great Depression and can’t help but wonder if we may be headed toward another. We are also stocked up on coffee – another one of those things we don’t want to be without.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Debbie says:

        Perhaps making a cookbook might be in your cards, J! All these tasty recipes….yum!

        The lessons from the past are definitely proving useful now. Those who didn’t appreciate the need for a pantry or basic cookery are now seeing the value in it. This pandemic is one of those pivotal moments in history that will take a while to recover from…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Yes, I suspect many people are now eating better by making homemade nutritious meals, and getting more sleep which is always helpful, and appreciating their families more. Hopefully these lessons will remain. I hope you are staying safe.

        Like

      • ruthsoaper says:

        Funny you should mention that – we have been buying spaghetti sauce this year since I didn’t make enough last year to get us through the whole year. I have washed and saved the last couple of jars. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    A fascinating post along with a delicious looking recipe. I have those ingredients and so will give it a try! It is going to be a strange Easter with no family mingling – and we were told last night that our lockdown period has been extended to the end of April. There will be a LOT of time for experimenting ahead!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    I haven’t made homemade chocolate pudding in years. I remember that I burned it more than cooked it, so maybe that’s why I gave up on it. We used to buy Jell-O brand butterscotch instant pudding and it was delicious. It’s no longer available around here and that’s a bummer. Have a Happy Easter!

    Like

  4. Linda Schaub says:

    Joni – In my pantry items bought for Winter (and thankfully still languishing since I got out during the Winter so much) I have some Jell-o pudding mix to mix with the instant milk for a sweet treat, but I know it will taste nothing like this delicious-looking pudding. I also bought some pudding cups that are not refrigerated because they had them on sale last Fall. I thought I’d try having those on hand for the Winter as well. I got four boxes of them, 12 in a box. They are delicious and creamy and come in vanilla and chocolate. Now that I finally ran out of yogurt, I’ve been having one a day as I try to have three servings of calcium per day and they are made with milk. My mom used to make the cooked pudding as she said the instant had a starchy taste and a funny texture. I’ve written before in my blog about a light veil of ice on the Creek reminding of me how the thin “skin” forms on the pudding as it cools. When Lent is over I’m going to have the chocolate I bought for Valentine’s Day – I bought it in anticipation of Windows 10 as well. Still not there, so might as well eat the chocolate for Easter – given how things are now, it will either be Halloween or maybe never.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Linda, I’ve tried the Jello Instant mix and didn’t care for it, but I have bought some other brand of Snack cups Butterscotch which are okay, esp if you microwave them to warm them up. They’re made with skim milk, and are always on sale – 4 for a dollar, but I still compare them to the old mix with the skin on the surface!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        It has a grainy texture doesn’t it? I kept the Snack cups so I didn’t run out of dairy-type products. I didn’t treat it as a sweet and had the vanilla ones until Lent is over. I try to have dairy 3X/day and I really don’t mind the powdered milk and sometimes mix it up with chocolate syrup or strawberry syrup for one dairy serving – both are sugar-free and it is an occasional treat. I put powdered milk in my oatmeal every morning, so that is one serving of milk too. Ah, nothing beats the old-fashioned mix with the skin on the surface – butterscotch was a favorite of mine too, sometimes banana cream as an alternate. And a must … licking the beaters if I was home when Mom made it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I was so desperate for something sweet today I made chocolate chip cookies from a mix – it only makes 6 cookies – I think it’s a Robin Hood mix. So far I’ve had two….saving some for mom tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. annieasksyou says:

    A nice ending. I can’t enjoy chocolate because it’s a migraine trigger, but that butterscotch recollection made me wistful.

    Yes, we must get more creative now. I made a cranberry pumpkin flax bread that was delicious despite the fact that I had no flax and only a handful of dried cranberries instead of the cupful that the recipe called for.

    Your mother is terrific, living on her own. Is she still painting?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Yes, but she is out of boards, so I ordered a bunch online last Friday but they haven’t even been shipped yet. They told me it might be over two weeks. She has some smaller boards she’s using up, and can always paint over some older ones. She has lots of paint though – I went through and organized it all by color last week before I ordered. Everyone online shipper is struggling.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Yes she is amazing for her age, but then my grandmother lived to be 96 in her own home, so I’m hoping I have their good genes. I forgot to mention she’s painting a series of the Tall Ships I blogged about last summer. I’m always trying to find things for her to paint.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s