Firecracker Chocolate Pudding

"This is a dark chocolate pudding with a hot pepper kick. I pour the pudding into reusable half-pint jars that can be stored in the fridge until it's time to eat. Jars work well for bringing along to a picnic or cookout, because after the pudding has been eaten, the lids can be put back on to contain the stickiness until you can take them home to wash. Since the jars are watertight, you can store them in a cooler with ice if you're spending a long, lazy day picnicking in a park."

Megan Reardon, Not Martha; adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Firecracker Chocolate Pudding

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    3 cups whole milk 5 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/4 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 6 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or use chips (I used Ghirardelli 72% baking buttons)


    Total: More than 60 min
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    • 1

      Place the milk in a medium-size saucepan. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, cayenne and cinnamon. Add about 5 tablespoons of the milk and stir until all of the cocoa is moistened. Stir in more milk, adding a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is the consistency of syrup. This will keep the cocoa from clumping when you add it later on.

    • 2

      In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar and salt; whisk into the remaining milk in the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally with a heatproof spatula. Be sure to scrape down the sides and the bottom, whisking a bit if the mixture starts to get lumpy. Cook 10 to 15 minutes until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low.

    • 3

      Add the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined, then add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir for a few minutes more, until the pudding is thickened and smooth.

    • 4

      Pour through a mesh strainer into an 8-cup measuring cup or mixing bowl with a spout. Then pour into 6 half-pint jars, filling each about 3/4 full. This also makes enough for 8 individual portions.

    • 5

      Chill the jars in the fridge for about 15 minutes, then put the lids on. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 days.

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