Every so often, I think one should step back and simply enjoy something for its own sake. Food should ultimately be enjoyed because it’s beautiful, not because it helps your gains or optimizes your macros. With that in mind, I’ve decided to publish occasional dessert recipes. Let’s face it– we all enjoy dessert, and it would be miserable to never let another grain of sugar near us again.

I’m going to share a pudding recipe I use often. Perusing the ingredients, you’ll find that puddings are essentially eggs, cream, and milk. The original recipe mentions serving 6, but I’m a bit more realistic and double it every time I make some.

I’ll defer some of the technical discussion to the end for those interested. For those who simply want to get going, the only thing you should really take note of with this recipe is that it does require attention. No one likes curdled, chunky pudding, so use gentle heat and be patient.

(Para os amigos Brasileiros, uma tradução foi fornecida abaixo, cortesia do Bloat Lord no canal do telegram.)*

*All translations into other languages provided courtesy of the wonderful Herculean Strength community.

Update (07/14/2022): We have a Spanish translation added courtesy of (and I quote) “the Venezuelan Skellington fren from the Telegram Channel”.

Chocolate Pudding (Serves 6)

Don’t cheap out on ingredients here. Get good-quality cocoa powder (not the Hershey’s brand), and good quality bittersweet bakers chocolate (at least 60%). Ghirardelli is a decent brand that generally available in the US, but substitute as needed where you are. (You lucky Europeans with your superior chocolate…)

Use the best vanilla extract you can find, especially if you are omitting chocolate and making vanilla pudding.

This shouldn’t need to be said in this crowd, but use whole milk for greatest richness.


  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. instant espresso powder (Optional, see note.)
  • 1/2 c. sugar (See note.)
  • 3 tbsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch (See note.)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 oz (by weight) bittersweet chocolate, chopped. (See note.)
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces


  • large saucepan, preferably 12″. (I really recommend using a nonstick pan here. See my notes at the bottom.) You can also use a pot to do this, but really make sure you’re whisking constantly as it cooks, and be aware that it may take a little bit longer.
  • whisk
  • fine-mesh strainer
  • medium-large bowl


  1. If you’re using the espresso powder, stir it with the vanilla extract in a small bowl and set aside. If you’re not using espresso powder, you can skip this step.
  2. Whisk sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt together in your saucepan. Whisk in egg yolks and cream until fully incorporated. Make sure you get the crooks of the saucepan.
  3. Now whisk in the milk.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium-low to medium heat (err on the gentler side if you have an overeager stove) and cook the mixture until bubbly and thickened. Whisk constantly while cooking. This will usually take 5-8 minutes.
  5. When your pudding base has reached a thickened and bubbly stage, cook for 30 seconds longer, then remove from heat.
  6. Add chocolate and butter, whisking until both are melted and fully incorporated.
  7. Whisk in vanilla (with espresso, if used).
  8. Strain the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  9. Lightly grease a piece of parchment paper and place against the surface of the pudding.
  10. Refrigerate the pudding at least 4 hours, then enjoy with some fruit.


  • The espresso powder is used to “bloom” the chocolate, making the chocolate flavor richer. I have made pudding with and without the espresso powder; if you use good quality chocolate, you won’t notice a difference in taste if you omit the espresso powder.
  • In the baking aisle of most grocery stores, you’ll find bars of baker’s chocolate and bags of chocolate chips. Both typically contain some amount of soy lecithin as an emulsifier and to prevent melting (particularly in chocolate chips). 100% baker’s chocolate shouldn’t contain this, but you will need more sugar when using it. This isn’t just due to taste, but texture as well. I’ve seen a few brand of baker’s chocolate in specialty stores that omit soy lecithin, but they aren’t common enough for me to be able to recommend. I have used both bars of baker’s chocolate and chocolate chips as my chocolate source. Many culinary experts turn up their noses at chocolate chips, claiming they don’t melt as well as baker’s chocolate. As long as you avoid the cheaper Nestle-type brands of chocolate chips, I haven’t noticed any real difference when making pudding. My typical chocolate chip brand is the Kirkland Signature Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips, but Ghirardelli brand is probably my favorite.
  • For those who wince at the recipe calling for granulated sugar–that’s part of dessert. You can use Sugar in the Raw if you like. I have not tried to substitute liquid sugar sources such as agave syrup or honey in this recipe. I don’t expect the texture to be quite the same. If any of you wish to try this, let me know how it turns out and I’ll update the article.
  • The cornstarch here is a thickener. You do want this to ensure a nice pudding rather than a soup. If for some reason you dislike cornstarch as a thickener, substitute 1/4 c. all-purpose flour.
  • If you just want vanilla pudding, omit the cocoa powder and the chocolate and espresso. The higher-quality vanilla you use, the better it’ll taste. Don’t use synthetic vanilla or imitation vanilla. That’s just gross.

Some Additional Food Chemistry

The reason the recipe calls for cocoa powder and chocolate is to maintain a silky texture. America’s Test Kitchen looks at several different ratios of cocoa powder to chocolate and found that unpleasant, gritty pudding is caused by cocoa butter found in chocolate. There’s a limit to how much extra chocolate you can stuff into pudding before you end up with grit, but cocoa powder has very little cocoa butter in it.

The higher the percent cacao in your chocolate, the thicker the pudding. Cocoa butter and cocoa also act as thickeners. However, as before, too much cocoa butter means grit. So while the darkest-chocolate lovers may want to skip straight to 100% dark chocolate, be aware that this will affect the texture. The darkest I’ve gone in this recipe is 75%.


(Para os amigos brasileiros)

Pudim de chocolate [1]


– 2 colheres de chá de extrato de baunilha

– 1/2 colher de chá de café instantâneo

– 1/2 xícara de açúcar

– 3 colheres de sopa de cacau em pó

– 2 colheres de sopa de amido de milho

– 1/4 colher de chá de sal

– 3 gemas

– 1/2 xícara de heavy cream [2]

– 2 1/2 xícaras de leite

– 115g de chocolate amargo, cortado

– 5 colheres de sopa de manteiga sem sal cortada em 8 pedaços


– Panela antiaderente grande, 12″ de preferência

– Fouet (batedor de ovos)

– Peneira fina

– Forma de pudim média/grande ou tigela


1. Se você está usando o café solúvel, misture com o extrato de baunilha em uma tigela pequena e reserve. Se você não está usando café expresso, pule este passo.

2. Usando o batedor, misture o açúcar, cacau em pó, amido de milho e sal em sua panela. Acrescente as gemas e o creme até que estejam homogêneas. Não se esqueça de mexer nos cantos da panela.

3. Acrescente o leite e continue batendo.

4. Coloque a panela no fogo médio e cozinhe a mistura até que borbulhe e engrosse. Bata constantemente enquanto estiver no fogo. Esse processo leva aproximadamente entre 5 e 8 minutos.

5. Quando o fundo do seu pudim tiver engrossado e começar a borbulhar, cozinhe por mais 30 segundos e então tire do fogo.

6. Acrescente o chocolate e a manteiga, mexendo até que ambos derretam.

7. Acrescente a baunilha (e o café, se estiver usando). Continue mexendo até que fique uma mistura homogênea.

8. Peneire o pudim e coloque em uma forma ou tigela.

9. Unte gentilmente um pedaço de papel manteiga e coloque sob a superfície do pudim.

10. Leve o pudim à geladeira por pelo menos 4 horas. Aprecie!

[1] original: https://herculeanstrength.com/chocolate-pudding-wholesome-rewards/

[2] 3/4 nata e 1/4 de leite cru ou integral (não use leite desnatado)

(Para los amigos que hablan español)

Pudín (Budín) de Chocolate (6 Porciones)[1]


• 2 cucharaditas de extracto de vainilla

• 1/2 cucharadita de café en polvo instantáneo (Opcional)

• 1/2 taza de azúcar

• 3 cucharadas de cacao en polvo

• 2 cucharadas de almidón de maíz o maicena

• 1/4 de cucharadita de sal

• 3 yemas de huevo

• 1/2 taza de crema de leche o nata espesa

• 2 1/2 tazas de leche entera o completa

• 4 onzas (peso) de chocolate oscuro, en trozos

•5 cucharadas de mantequilla sin sal, cortada en 8 piezas


• Cacerola grande de 12” o, preferiblemente, un sartén antiadherente de 12”.

• Batidor

• Colador de malla fina

• Bol mediano-grande


1. Si vas a utilizar el café instantáneo en polvo, mezclar con el extracto de vainilla en un bol pequeño y resérvalo. En caso contrario, puedes omitir este paso.

2. Batir el azúcar, el cacao, el almidón de maíz y la sal en la cacerola. Batir las yemas de huevo y la crema de leche hasta que se incorporen por completo. Asegúrese de que la mezcla sea homogénea

3. Añadir la leche a la cacerola y continúe batiendo hasta que se incorpore por complete.

4. Colocar la cacerola a fuego medio-bajo o medio (ajuste el fuego de la cocina dependiendo de su potencia) y cocine la mezcla hasta que burbujee y se espese. Batir constantemente mientras se cocina. Esto suele llevar de 5 a 8 minutos.

5. Cuando la base del pudín se haya alcanzado una consistencia espesa y burbujeante, cocínela por 30 segundos más y retírela del fuego.

6. Añadir el chocolate y la mantequilla, batiendo hasta que ambos se derritan y se incorporen por completo. Si está preparando el pudín de vainilla, solo añada la mantequilla.

7. Batir la vainilla (con el café expreso, si se utiliza) a la mezcla hasta que se incorporen por completo.

8. Pasar el pudín por un colador de malla fina a un bol.

9. Engrasar ligeramente un trozo de papel de pergamino y colocarlo sobre la superficie del pudín.

10. Refrigere el budín por lo menos 4 horas antes de servir con un poco de fruta.