Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Pudding with Meringue

This was my favorite dessert when I was growing up. Mom made it often because, living on a farm, she always had everything on hand to make it.

Thickened Pudding
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs, divided
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°F
After Baking Meringue
In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, flour and salt until well blended. Divide eggs, reserving whites for meringue. Whisk egg yolks into milk. Add milk and egg mixture to dry ingredients and whisk to blend and remove all lumps. Place saucepan on stove top with medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly as mixture thickens. When thick enough to coat a spoon, remove from heat. Add vanilla and butter and stir to blend. Pour into casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes, or until pudding has set.
Remove from oven and top with meringue. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown. May be served warm or chilled. Serves 4 - 6.

Ready to Serve
The recipe can be doubled or tripled with good results.
If you skip the meringue, don’t add egg whites to pudding. They cause a grainy texture.
The best utensil for stirring the pudding is an egg turner with a flat edge that scrapes the bottom of the saucepan.
Watch the pudding carefully. “Stir constantly” means just that! 
If don't care for meringue, use butter to dot the top of the pudding before baking so it becomes a melted butter sauce. Whipped topping or ice cream may also be substituted for the meringue.

3 egg whites
½ teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
6 tablespoons sugar

Place egg whites in mixing bowl of electric mix at high speed, and beat until stiff peaks form. Mix sugar with cream of tartar, and add to beaten egg whites, one spoonful at the time on medium speed. Beat at high speed until sugar dissolves. Spread over the top of the pudding or pie. Bake at 400°F for ten minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Room temperature eggs whites will beat up into thicker, taller meringue.
If you don’t have cream of tartar, you can make meringue without it. The cream of tartar only stiffens the whites.
The secret to great meringue is to beat the whites until they form extremely stiff peaks, and only then add sugar.
You can make a meringue of any size by using a ratio of 2 tablespoons of sugar per egg white.
To test whether sugar has dissolved, rub a small amount between thumb and forefinger. If you feel sugar grains mix a bit longer.


Since publishing her first book at age 27, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jennifer Blake has gone on to write over 65 historical and contemporary novels in multiple genres. She brings the story-telling power and seductive passion of the South to her stories, reflecting her 8th-generation Louisiana heritage. Jennifer lives with her husband in northern Louisiana.

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