Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: Varies
Chocolate and mint are classic flavor pairings. Here they unite to create a lusciously silky, rich, and deceptively healthy dessert; one serving comes in under 250 calories - but don't go overboard! You can reduce the calories by making a few substitutions - unsweetened almond milk can replace the skim milk and sugar substitutes (like Truvia) can replace the sugar. This pudding is thickened using cornstarch and emulsified using egg yolks, so this is not a vegan friendly recipe. Garnish each serving with a little mint sprig - your recipients will think they're eating a deluxe gourmet dessert from a restaurant!
- 3 cups skim milk
- 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves (about 1/2 oz.)
- 2/3 cup sugar (or 16 packets Truvia)
- 1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted
- 3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
- Mint sprigs (optional)
Heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat until it reaches 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer to make sure) or until tiny bubbles form around the surface of the milk. Do not let the milk boil. Remove from the heat and add the mint. Let the mixture steep for 15 minutes; for a more pronounced mint flavor, let steep for up to half an hour. Strain the milk through a sieve into a bowl; reserve the milk and discard the solids.
Return the milk to the pan. Add the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt. Bring the heat up to medium and bring to a boil. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture thickens.
Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Temper the eggs by adding a little of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly so the eggs don't scramble. Add the egg mixture back to the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook for 1 minute or until thick.
Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts and blends and the mixture is uniform in consistency. Pour the pudding into a bowl and cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap so a skin doesn't form on the surface. Chill until completely cold.
When ready to serve, spoon the pudding into decorative dishes or pretty stemmed glasses for a fancier presentation. Garnish with a mint sprig. Wait for compliments.
NOTE: Unsweetened almond milk is about 35 calories per 8 fl. oz. serving. Skim milk is about 90 calories per 8 fl. oz. serving. I suggest using unsweetened almond milk because "plain" almond milk is sweetened just a little and you would have to adjust the sugar to compensate for that. It's okay to use sugar substitutes in here because this is only a cooked product and not a baked one.