More glamorous desserts and diners’ appetites for increasingly darker, more bitter chocolate have pushed chocolate pudding into obscurity.
We were intent on bringing back this homey dessert with a version that would feature a careful balance of chocolate flavor and creamy texture.
After tasting a few test recipes with good chocolate flavor but unbearably gritty texture, we made a discovery that changed the focus of our recipe development: instead of adding to the grittiness (which we had originally believed to be true), cocoa powder actually makes for a smoother pudding. So for a pudding with both potent chocolate flavor and a supremely smooth texture, a combination of chocolate and cocoa powder was the way to go.
Once we made that realization, our pudding recipe came along easily. We zeroed in on the perfect amounts of bittersweet chocolate (our preference for this dish over other kinds of chocolate) and cocoa powder until our chocolate flavor was exactly where we wanted it. We then whisked in egg yolks, which added richness and body. A combination of milk and heavy cream contributed creaminess, and espresso powder added depth.