America-land Chocolate Pudding

December 3, 2011
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You wouldn’t think that Chocolate Pudding was a term that needed clarification, but alas it does. Ordering Chocolate Pudding in ‘lands of the Queen’s rule’ will bring to your table a decadent piece of cake – generally with a delicious sauce over the top, or as a molten pool in the middle, or created in the bottom of the baking dish. Now there is nothing wrong with this kind of Pudding – as a matter of fact, there are very many things right with it… but it’s ultimately cake and not remotely suited to spooning over Deconstructed Pavlova.


Chocolate Pudding when in North America however is a smooth, thick custard-like substance – preferably eaten cold with a spoon. As a kid, little plastic tubs of it showed up in everyone’s lunch boxes – and it was spruked nightly between Family Ties and Different Strokes by Bill Cosby. As a teenager I would frequently use the boxed powder option to ‘cook’ some up in the afternoon for a treat – if you can count whisking milk and some mystery chocolate flavoured powder together as ‘cooking’.


This is how you make real Chocolate Pudding, and once you try it there is a pretty good chance you’ll never use the boxes or tubs of the processed stuff again. You can make this as rich or simple as you wish. I used oat milk due to both my avoidance of cow dairy and, lets be honest, the inevitable situation of having nothing else in the fridge or cupboard since we haven’t done a proper food shop for 4 weeks  [welcome to the advantage and downfall of being walking distance from a grocery store] and being way too lazy to go to get anything else. But I digress, and anything from skim to full cream to goats milk to almond to rice would work a dream – I recon coconut milk would do a pretty good job too – yum.


I only made a half batch for the Pav but the full recipe is below for your enjoyment [more pudding = more enjoyment]. Try it and let me know what you think!



America-land Chocolate Pudding


1/3 c sugar*
1/3 c cocoa powder*
pinch sea salt
pinch of chili powder [optional]

2 c milk or pretty much any milk substitute
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cornflour* [corn starch]

Full Method:

Place sugar, cocoa and salt into a medium saucepan and whisk together.

Whisk 1/4 cup of the milk into the dry ingredients until smooth. Pour all but about 1/4 cup milk into the pan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium low heat [watch it like a hawk, it will boil over the minute you look away] then reduce immediately to a simmer.

Stir cornflour and vanilla into remaining milk until smooth, pour into simmering chocolate mixture and whisk gently for 4 1/2 minutes. Pudding will thicken further as it cools.

Pour hot pudding into a medium heat proof bowl or individual serving dishes. Refrigerate until cool*.

Serves 4. Or you know, one.


  • Once you have tried the recipe you can have a play around with the sugar and cocoa to suit your tastes.  I use far less sugar but the full 1/3 c cocoa. I also used coconut sugar but any sugar or sugar substitute would work out well.
  • If you don’t mind pudding-skin, place dishes directly in the fridge to cool.  If adverse to pudding-skin place plastic wrap over the dish, touching the surface of the pudding, before refrigerating. Either way, just don’t mix the skin into the custard – peel it off and eat it, don’t tell anyone.
  • Corn flour can be substituted with arrowroot. Make sure to remove the pudding from heat as soon as the arrowroot is blended-in, it will break if boiled.


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7 Responses to America-land Chocolate Pudding

  1. Jennifer (Delicieux) on December 3, 2011 at 11:02 am

    When I read chocolate pudding, growing up in the land of the Queen’s rule, I thought of the cake version. I don’t know I’ve ever actually had this type of chocolate pudding which is amazing in it’s self given my love of all things chocolate. Can I have a bowl please? :P

    • JJ on December 7, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      As a matter of fact you can!

  2. Anna@ The Littlest Anchovy on December 6, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I have always wanted to know how to make this after reading about/seeing it on tv growing up! Perfect topping for a pav too :)

  3. Leah on December 6, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    This makes me ridiculously happy. I was just reading about an all-pudding (puddin’) shop opening in the East Village in New York and instantly wanted some Jello brand stuff – this is a way better option!

    • JJ on December 7, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Oh my, a whole shop dedicated to puddin’ – a backlash on cupcakes over-saturation perhaps?! That may actually warrant a trip down to the East Village on our next visit!

  4. SeattleDee on December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I’m a chocolate pudding fan, but like to tame the sweet hit a smidge by adding some espresso powder to the simmering milk. This helps to balance out the whipped cream I pile on top of my pudding cup.

  5. Chocolate Pudding Parfaits | Voracious Vander on January 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    [...] lately does not go unnoticed. This recipe (from fellow blog-hopper and former New Yorker, JJ at 84th & 3rd) is perfect. It’s simple, has a much better ingredient list than the Jello brand, and best of [...]

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