Chocolate Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

By Beacon Staff

Desserts served at the FVCC Chef’s Table dinners, like this chocolate pudding, are designed to evoke nostalgia and deliver a complex culinary experience. This pudding will be a favorite on its own, but you can make it even more intriguing by serving it with the slightly bitter salted caramel sauce and deeply caramelized brioche croutons.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

CHOCOLATE PUDDING

• 4 cups whole milk
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 4 large egg yolks
• 6 oz. bitter sweet chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped (for topping)

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup sugar
• 6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
• 1 tsp. kosher salt

BRIOCHE CROUTONS

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
• 1/4 lb. brioche or other bread, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1/4 cup confection sugar

CHOCOLATE PUDDING

In a medium sauce pan, bring 3 1/2 cups of milk and 3/4 cup of sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolves. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt. Whisk in the remaining milk, then the egg yolks.

Temper the mixture by adding a cup of the hot liquid into the egg mixture and stir thoroughly. Add the mixture to the hot milk liquid in the sauce pan, constantly whisking over medium heat for two minutes. Remove from heat and pass the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl.

Whisk in the chocolate, butter and vanilla until smooth. Cover the surface with plastic wrap in direct contact with the pudding and refrigerate until cold. Serve the pudding topped with salted caramel sauce, whipped cream, and caramel croutons.

SALTED CARAMEL SAUCE

In a small sauce pan, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan, combine sugar 1/4 cup of water (to keep it from caramelizing and burning on the sides, make sure that the side of the pan has no sugar on it). Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil until syrupy, (do not stir or shake the pot), the syrup will turn to amber color (about 340 degrees candy thermometer). Set pan onto counter, and slowly add the hot cream into the caramel and stir until well combined. Stir in salt and butter. Keep warm if using right away or allow to cool (sauce can be refrigerated for up to two weeks).

BRIOCHE CROUTONS

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and ad the croutons. Stir to coat and sprinkle the sugar using a spatula until the sugar melts and the croutons are caramelized. Transfer to a sheet pan to cool.

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