Velvety Chocolate Pudding
- 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- Hefty pinch of coarse salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, well beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for garnishing (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Press through a sieve into a medium saucepan to eliminate any lumps. Whisk in the milk.
2. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until thickened, about 2 1/2 minutes. Be sure to get the spoon around the edges of the pan as the mixture thickens. Whisk if needed to combine well. Stir in the butter.
3. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the hot chocolate mixture into the beaten egg and return to the pudding in the pan. Stir in the vanilla and cook to completely thicken, 2 to 3 more minutes. Strain through a sieve and pour the pudding into four to six 6-ounce pudding cups. Serve warm, or cool first and chill until serving. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent it from forming a skin (unless you like it!). Top with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.