And while we are talking cinnamon, can I just pause here and say it’s well worth it to get the very best cinnamon you can find. I am utterly, totally devoted to Penzeys Cinnamon (and just for the record, the Penzeys people have never heard of me or this here blog and I am influenced only by my love for their rocking great cinnamon. It’s an unrequited love, but I’m okay with that.)
Meanwhile, back at the pudding-making…if you are going to serve this pudding warm (which I passionately recommend, just for the record), it’s the kind of dessert you can whip up while your dinner guests are lingering over the final bites of their entree, because it’s about 15 minutes from start to finish. (My dinner guests tend to be one Southern husband and one hopeful hound dog, who continues to believe that one day science will discover that chocolate is actually GOOD for dogs. So far no luck.)
Anyway, you mix up a combo of sugar, flour, cocoa, cinnamon (yes!!), salt, milk and half and half, and bring the whole thing to a boil. Once you get it to boiling it will take about two whole minutes to thicken up. And here’s one of the magical parts: once it is thick, turn off the heat and stir in some vanilla and butter. The butter is going to add a silky smooth texture that will pretty much make it impossible to do anything but eat it spoonful by spoonful with your eyes closed in sheer, perfect bliss.
Now, you can serve this up exactly as is, or you can garnish it with a little cinnamon sugar, some grated chocolate, or a little whipped cream. I actually made mine early in the fall before we got hit with hurricanes and snowy Nor-Easters, when I still had a hefty barrel of mint outside my back door.
And so I just popped a few baby mint leaves on mine, because along with cinnamon I am a sucker for that whole chocolate and mint thing.
Now just for the record, this pudding is perfectly nice served room temperature or even chilled. But served warm? Trust me. Just…trust me.
Serves: 4 servings
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cinnamon sugar, grated chocolate, whipped cream and/or fresh mint for garnish
- Whisk sugar, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and half and half and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Removed from heat and stir in butter and vanilla, stirring until butter melts.
- Pour into individual serving dishes, garnish and serve.
Recipe adapted just a teeny bit from Taste of the South