Easy desserts that pack some kind of wow factor, without a lot of excessive work and time, can be hard to come by. Or it seems like there’s a lot to appeal when we look, but is it really going to be any good? If you’re looking for something full of rich chocolate flavor that’s easy and quick, pudding is not a bad way to go at all. There’s only one thing I’d do differently next time with this recipe, though, and that’s to present it differently.
The best thing about this recipe is there’s very little cooking involved. It does require quite a bit of chilling, though, so prepare for that. As is, it’s a great make-ahead dessert.
The recipe calls for unsweetened and bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate for the filling, as well as some unsweetened cocoa powder. If you’re kids aren’t into a richer, dark chocolate flavor, you might want to switch the bitter or semi-sweet chocolate to a milk chocolate. This is, admittedly, a pretty potent and darker chocolate flavored pudding. My own kiddo didn’t care for it.
But I did. Oh. Yes.
I would say this pie actually has four levels of chocolate because, behold, a chocolate crust!
Nothing but the good stuff’s being added to this pudding. Here, half and half gradually gets added to the initial chocolate filling. After all that’s added, the mixture is brought to a boil till nice and thick. And this pudding does indeed get thick.
Off the heat, the chopped chocolate finally gets its turn, along with a little vanilla. Stir till it’s all nice and smooth. Ours seemed a little lumpy after lots of stirring, but some of those may have been little air bubbles.
With the crust mostly cooled, in goes all that wonderful pudding. At this point, I did start to wonder how easy it would be to actually cut a wedge of the stuff and serve it.
It may look like it didn’t take a lot of effort, but we had to sacrifice two “slices” of this pie to get one that looked at least somewhat like a slice of pie. The others were a gloppy messy puddle on a plate.
What I’d do differently next time is simple – prepare them as individual servings. Yep, it’s a tad bit more work. Yep, it’s a few more dishes to clean later. So what. Individual portions are cute, they’re fun and perfect for sharing.
What? You don’t plan to share? No problem! Either way, if you don’t want to struggle with cutting this into a wedge, just put them individual ramekins or even those cute little individual tart pans with the bottoms that pop out.
I’ve rarely met my dessert match, but this is definitely one of few in that category. Guys and gals – this is rich stuff! It’s a pretty decadent pudding, powerfully chocolate and it’s perfect with a little whipped cream to cut that chocolate a little. Nice and cool after several hours setting u in the fridge, this dessert is great for beating the heat.
Triple-Chocolate Pudding Pie
adapted very slightly from Triple-Chocolate Pudding Pie with Cappuccino Cream by Lauren Chattman, Bon Appétit, July 2003
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Chill Time: 6 hours to overnight Level: Easy Serves: 8
For the crust:
- 9 whole chocolate graham crackers
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 1/2 cups half and half
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the toppings:
- 1 cup chilled whipping cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- white and milk chocolate chips, optional, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind graham crackers, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and blend to moisten crumbs. Firmly press mixture into 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. (Alternately, press crumbs evenly into ramekins or mini tart pans for individual servings.) Bake until crust sets, about 8 minutes. Cool.
Whisk sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 1 cup half and half. Whisk in remaining 2 1/2 cups half and half and yolks. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Add both chocolates and butter; whisk until melted and smooth. Mix in vanilla. Transfer filling to crust. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of filling and chill until filling sets, at least 6 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.)
Beat the chilled whipping cream and powdered sugar in large bowl until soft to medium peaks form.
Peel plastic off pie. Cut pie into wedges. Spoon dollop of cream atop each slice. Garnish with the chocolate chips.
The original recipe calls for a cappuccino-like whipped cream, but since I was really trying to make this more kid-friendly, we went with a simple whipped cream instead. And while kiddo ended up not caring for the strong chocolate flavor, we felt the normal, slightly sweetened whipped cream was better than one that also had its own flavor. The simpler cream helps tone down the chocolate a little.
When adding the sugar to the whipped cream, add in maybe half the amount, then a little more to taste so that you get it the level of sweetness you prefer.
Since we did use the less sweet kinds of chocolate called for, bittersweet and the unsweetened, I did use all the sugar called for as well. If you decided to use milk chocolate instead, though, you may want to cut back on the sugar, totally up to you.