Mocha Pudding with Espresso Crème

by Monica Glass

Silky and smooth, this delectable pudding is the ultimate comfort food.  Reminiscent of a childhood favorite, but it’s spiked with a shot of espresso to create an indulgent twist.  Wrapped in a down comforter, curled by the fire on a plush sofa is the perfect way to enjoy this comfort pudding.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

For the Mocha Pudding:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
5 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla paste (1 tsp extract can be used, but paste is preferable)

For the Espresso Crème:
1 cup chilled heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Cocoa powder for dusting

Preparation:

Prepare the pudding:
Place a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk the heavy cream, half and half, espresso powder and cinnamon together until small bubbles appear around the edges and espresso powder is dissolved.  Remove from heat when the mixture just comes to a simmer: you should see steam rising from the surface and small bubbles forming along the edges.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan; whisk until blended.  Add the hot cream mixture to the sugar mixture and heat over medium-high heat, stirring, until it begins to thicken and boil.  Add the chocolate, and cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and mixture just comes to a boil.

Whisk egg yolks in a small bowl.  Temper the yolks with hot mixture, then add to hot saucepan.  Stir to blend, put saucepan back on the heat, and cook over low, stirring for 1-2 minutes more, until the pudding just comes to a boil and thickens.

Remove from heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl.  Stir in vanilla.

Spoon pudding into 6 individual dishes or ramekins.  Serve warm immediately, or chilled in refrigerator, surfaces covered with tightly with plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming on the top.  Garnish with Espresso Crème (below).

Prepare the crème:
In a small bowl combine the sugar, vanilla and espresso powder and set aside. Beat the cream in a chilled mixing bowl until it forms soft peaks. Add the espresso mixture and continue beating until you have firm peaks. Makes about 2 cups.

Service

Spoon or pipe Espresso Crème onto puddings.  Sprinkle with a light dusting of cocoa powder if desired.

Recipe by Monica Glass

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