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, but 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). Another treasured recipe was for homemade chocolate pudding.
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 coming week.
For those of the Jewish faith, next week 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 for me. True, there is commercial Passover pudding mix, but the one time I had it - I'm not trying it again.
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)
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)
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.
And that's it!
|The completed pudding|