Ok you guys. This– is what’s up. I never liked chocolate pudding growing up. Those little “snack packs” just didn’t do it for me. And then I ate real chocolate pudding at Marie Catrib’s (the most marvelous little restaurant/bakeshop in Grand Rapids that will accommodate every dietary restriction under the sun) and my life changed. Marie’s thick chocolately custard made with duck eggs, love and magic– (sigh). I’m dead just thinking about it. My new mantra in life: don’t eat/make any pudding unless it’s from scratch.
I don’t make pudding often, but when I get a craving for something I really like, I tend to make it several times in a row. So I made some chocolate pudding. It was damn good. We just bought this incredible winter four pack from Beau’s Brewery and just happened to be drinking their Burnt Rock Vanilla Porter while eating this delectable pudding. And then the thought occurred to me, two rights often make an even better right. A sweet, malty porter with a vanilla aroma aroma and a chocolate finish combined with the most underrated chocolate decadence of modernity. Come to mama!
So I did a little experimenting with the leftovers of our Porter, and the result was mind blowing. Like the kind of mind blowing that causes you to starting laughing and/or crying when you take a bite, it’s THAT good. So here it is. In case I didn’t say it before, it’s so good. I really hope you try it.
Oh, and if you ever run into Beau’s brews, you should really try one (especially the St. Luke’s Verse Lavender Gruit).
VANILLA PORTER CHOCOLATE PUDDING
serves 6 | prep time: 20 min
1 cup vanilla porter (or any dark brew you have laying around)
2 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup to whip up on top
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
5 egg yolks
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. In a medium size, non-reactive sauce pan combine the beer, 2 cups of the milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream, sugar and chocolate chips. Bring up to just before a simmer, stirring to melt the chocolate chips (If they are not completely melted at this point, do not fret. They will get there).
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining half cup of milk, cornstarch, vanilla and egg yolks in a medium size bowl. Very slowly, while whisking constantly, pour half the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture (this is called making a liaison, just FYI). Then, slowly pour this liaison back into the sauce pan with the remaining milk, still whisking constantly.
3. Over medium high heat, whisk constantly until the pudding mixture comes to a boil. Allow to cook for 3 more minutes, whisking constantly.
4. Remove from heat and pour pudding into 6 individual ramekins. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator, allowing to cool for at least 4-6 hours.
5. Serve with slightly sweetened, fresh whipped cream. Try not to cry.