DessertIshan Jain

Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Candied Orange Peel & Kahlua Whipped Cream

DessertIshan Jain

The recipe for these spiced puddings came about one day when I didn’t have enough time to make pots de crème, a custard that has to be baked in a water bath. This was my best alternative and they ended up being great. I use TCHO bittersweet chocolate and serve the pudding with candied orange peel and Kahlúa whipped cream. They’re great on their own too.

Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Serves 4

Ingredients

Chocolate Pudding

1 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped out and pod reserved
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup sugar
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of kosher salt
5 oz bittersweet chocolate (I like to use TCHO disks)
¼ teaspoon Grand Marnier

4 ramekins or nice glasses
mint sprigs for garnish

Candied Orange Zest

1 orange
2½ cups sugar
3 cups water

Kahlúa Whipped Cream

½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon Kahlúa liqueur

Preparation

Chocolate Pudding

Bring the milk, heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean seeds and pod to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk often to prevent the bottom from scorching. While milk is heating whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a non-reactive bowl until pale. Stir in cinnamon, cayenne pepper and kosher salt. Once the pot it simmering slowly pour it into the egg mixture while whisking consistently. Pour the pudding base back into the saucepan and whisk over medium-high heat until the custard just comes to a boil and has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate and Grand Marnier, stirring until the chocolate has melted and the pudding is smooth. Press the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to catch the vanilla pod and any small bits of egg.
Transfer the pudding into 4 ramekins or glasses. Chill uncovered until cold, at least 1 hour.

Puddings can be made 1 day ahead. Cover the tops with plastic wrap once cold.

Candied Orange Zest

Using a vegetable peeler remove the rind from the orange in strips. Try to only remove the orange rind while leaving the white pith on the fruit. Place the rind strips on a cutting board and stack a few into a pile at a time. Cut the zest into long, thin strips about 1/16-inch thick. Place the julienned zest in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water and ½ cup sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the mixture through a strainer, discarding the liquid. Put the zest back into the pan and repeat with 1 cup of water and ½ cup sugar. The third time bring the last cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil. Put the remaining ½ cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Bring the zest to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook zest for 15 to 20 minutes or until translucent and curling at the edges. Let the zest cool in the syrup and then strain, discarding syrup. Tap the strainer to get rid of any excess liquid. Transfer the zest to the bowl with remaining sugar a few pieces at a time. Shake the zest in the sugar until all pieces are coated. Lay on a wire rack to dry.

The zest can me made ahead and kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Kahlúa Whipped Cream

Whip the chilled cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add the Kahlúa and whisk until incorporated. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To Serve

Place each pudding on a small serving plate or serve them together on a platter. Top each with a spoonful of whipped cream, a few pieces of candied orange zest and a fresh mint sprig.