Sunday, April 24, 2016

Homemade Non Dairy Chocolate Pudding

It's time for me, a person not known for her cooking skills, to entertain her readers with my cooking adventures.

Back in the 1960's, when I was growing up, I had to take a subject called "home economics" (home ec, for short).  Meanwhile, boys got shop classes. Although I failed home ec (and I wasn't the only one - see the comment from fellow blogger Sue McPeak in another post)  - yes, I really did fail it - I took home some nice recipes from the cooking part of the course.  One was for homemade grape jelly (yes!  I learned to make homemade jelly in New York City) and another one was for homemade chocolate pudding.

Thank you, home ec!  Because now, with my need to increase my calcium intake through food, I've discovered non dairy nut milks, and puddings have become one of my favorite desserts.

Interestingly, I've found that the nut milks (almond, and cashew) don't work well with commercial instant puddings.  The puddings don't thicken.  Nut milks do work with commercial cooked puddings, so I've learned to make the cooked puddings. 

There's just one problem this week.

For me and others of the Jewish faith, it is Passover, an eight day observance when various foods (many grains, legumes, and a number of other foods) are fully or partially banned from our tables. One banned food is corn and items made from corn.  So commercial pudding is out.  Well, there is commercial Passover pudding mix, but the one time I had it - Yuck.

It's time for homemade pudding. 

Um...not so fast.  One of the key ingredients of home made pudding is cornstarch.  Time for research!

After some Internet searching and an experiment, I came up with this recipe.  The recipe needs to be perfected, but it's a good start. 

The original recipe used almond milk, coconut sugar (which I didn't have in the house), vanilla extract (what I had in the house contained corn syrup, another no-no) and cocoa powder.  I had both regular Hershey's cocoa and something called black cocoa.  I decided to use the black cocoa to intensify the flavor.  Finally, the recipe used cornstarch.  I decided to use Kosher for Passover potato starch.  Based on my spouse's cooking experience, I decided to use less potato starch than the cornstarch called for, as potato starch has greater thickening quantities.

So, drum roll, I present to you, my dear readers, something you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy:

Homemade Non Dairy Chocolate Pudding (Makes 4 servings) (sorry, metric readers; you are on your own)

Ingredients
2 cups almond or cashew Milk (I used cashew)
1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon cane sugar
4 tablespoons black or regular cocoa (both should work fine)
3 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (or 4 tablespoons cornstarch) either will work
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I didn't use but I think it was needed)

Method
Place almond milk, sugar, cocoa powder, potato or cornstarch, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat.   Stir together until thick and smooth.  Take off heat and immediately pour into 4 small serving bowls.  Let cool.  I served it with raspberries on top.
(This is what the mix looked like before I stirred it.  The black cocoa, which is an ultra-Dutched cocoa (all the acid has been neutralized) is dark.  You can use it here instead of regular cocoa, but do not use it in any recipe that needs acidity, such as a recipe using baking soda.)

And that's it! 
The completed pudding
When I make it again, I will use a tiny bit more thickening agent, as it seemed a tad bit watery, but that was my only complaint.  If you make it, I invite your comments.

Tomorrow, back to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

8 comments:

  1. I took home ec, too. I'm now told it's called "family living" and boys are encouraged to take it, too? Although there were a few boys in my class, as well. They didn't do so well with the sewing portion. It's humorous to me that we were still being taught to use a sewing machine in 1984. That's a skill I've never, ever used since.

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  2. Sounds delicious and I love puddings too. Will have to substitute almond/cashew for normal milk as my son is allergic to nuts.

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  3. My aunt has diary restrictions; will pass this on to her. :)

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  4. I use a similar concept- but with a sugar substitute; and I augment the almond milk with 1 cup of non-dairy Rich's frozen pareve cream. (Also critical, since no sugar means that the corn syrup is missed more.)

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  5. Interesting concoction. I, too, took home ec. In 7th grade. We actually had boys in our class. Only a couple, and only for the cooking semester (they didn't want to learn to sew).

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  6. Sewing is what did me in during home ec, my teacher finished my project for me. My daughters went to the same schools I attended, and now everyone takes home ec and everyone takes shop.
    I feel your pain, Alana, but that pudding recipe does look good.

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  7. This looks really good. It's perfect for the holiday, for sure. I'm definitely more lax than I used to be when it comes to observing - living in the south has changed what's accessible to me - so I like giving new ideas a try! Thanks for this. :) And Happy Passover.

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  8. Wish i had the patience to follow what u said.

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