Joy the Baker

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding

February 15, 2012

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I’m beating around the bush here… I apologize.

See, what I really need in my life is homemade chocolate hazelnut spread, I just haven’t gotten the nerve to make it yet.

What am I waiting for?  I’m waiting for the stars to align and my desk to clean itself.  I’m waiting for the perfect baguette to pair with this homemade Nutella.  I’m waiting for a larger food processor, and perhaps new a duvet cover to languish in.  I do a lot of languishing… not really.  I’m waiting for cashmere oven mitts and pearl earrings…. because I’m fancy… (again) not really.

I’m making excuses.  All of the recipes I’ve seen for homemade chocolate hazelnut spread call for powdered milk.  Wwwhhhyyyy??  So… until I wrap my head around this concept, or figure out a way to make a bonkers good spread without powdered milk, you’ll have to settle for (dang good) pudding.

Also… instead of beating around the bush, are you actually supposed to be beating the bush?  I don’t understand this.

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Quick and simple chocolate pudding for two starts with sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and a happy pinch of salt.

We’re totally going to cook this.

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Chocolate is super important.  I used a lighter and darker chocolate, because I’m cool, fancy, and it’s totally just what I had in my pad-locked chocolate drawer.

Dark chocolate is nice.  Milk chocolate is sweeter.  A mixture is the move!

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Add creaminess.  Add flavor.  Kick it all in the pants with coarse grey sea salt.

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Hazelnuts are roasted until golden and fragrant.

Then they’re rubbed for all they’re worth in a kitchen towel to remove the skins.  That’s totally my favorite part.

Eating warm roasted hazelnuts is my second favorite part.

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Egg yolk adds a richness to the pudding that cornstarch can’t create.

Milk is the liquid of choice.

How amazing would this taste with a bit of coconut milk?  Seriously.  Delicious.

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Toasted hazelnuts and sea salt on top of creamy chocolate pudding topped with soft whipped cream.

That might be one of the most successful sentences I’ve ever written.

This pudding is simple, rich and decadent.  The nuts add the perfect flavor and crunch.  The salt is absolute perfection.  This pudding begs to be shared.  This pudding is the gateway to homemade hazelnut chocolate spread.  We’ll get there.  I know we will.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding

serves 2

adapted from Gourmet November 1998

Print this Recipe!

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

big pinch of salt

4 ounces dark chocolate (I used a mixture of 56% and 70% chocolate), coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups milk (I used low-fat… gasp!)

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup roasted hazelnuts

1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks with 1 tablespoon sugar

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place raw hazelnuts on the pan and roast for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.  Remove from the oven.  Allow to cool.  Place hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub together to remove most of the skins from the nuts.  Place clean nuts in a bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk and egg yolk.

In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, and chopped chocolate.  Place over medium heat.  Immediately begin to stream in the milk and egg mixture.  Whisk until entirely smooth and chocolate begins to melt.  Cook until mixture reaches a low boil.  Boil for one minute until thickened.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract.

Divide the pudding between two cups, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding, and allow to cool in the refrigerator until completely cool.  Place cold cream in a bowl and whip with a whisk to soft peaks (you can also do this in a electric mixer).  Add a bit of sugar (about 1 tablespoon) and a touch of vanilla extract.  Set in the fridge until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, top with toasted hazelnuts, coarse sea salt, and lightly whipped cream. Pudding will last, covered in the fridge, for up to 4 days.


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