in my family, "tastes like shit" is code for "thickened with flour", particularly in reference to gravy.
the reason this is so enduring a joke in my family is of course that marvelous time when we sampled a neighbor's delicious gravy and my mother declared in hearing of the neighbor that obviously the neighbor made gravy the proper way (i.e., thickened with cornstarch) because gravy made with flour tastes like shit.
of course the neighbor habitually made her gravies with flour and probably would not have said the word "shit" if she'd had a mouth full of it.
so anyway, in the past couple of months i have found myself craving chocolate pudding.
not the kind of craving where you think you might like some and then are done with it; the kind of craving where you decide you CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT only it's too late at night to start making pudding but then you feel fine in the morning but then sometime before bedtime you NEED NEED NEEEEEED IT and this goes on for the better part of two weeks and finally at a decent hour in the afternoon you just decide to make the damn pudding already.
so because i had not actually made any pudding (unless we count crème patisserie, and who does, really?) in all the time since graduating from high school, i thought i would just hop on the internet and look at some recipes.
there are no shortage of pudding recipes on the internet.
i used this one. it was not difficult and did not have any weird ingredients. the only change i made to it was that i added a little bit of almond extract because i like that.
it was very good. maybe a little too sweet. and it had a little bit of a cornstarchy aftertaste which although not terribly unpleasant, i wondered if i might not enjoy a flour thickened pudding.
so the next time the pudding craving hit, i recognized the inexorable signs and just went ahead and made the pudding only three days in to the craving, which saves a lot of moaning to nobody in particular late at night.
i sorta used this recipe, but since most of the comments tell you to double the cocoa, i went right ahead and almost tripled it. and i added a little instant coffee and some almond extract. oh. and i tossed in a handful of baking chocolate to melt in the finish.
in my house the only coffee i keep on hand is instant coffee, and the only reason i keep coffee at all is for the addition into chocolate recipes. a tiny bit of coffee nicely intensifies chocolate flavors without even being perceptibly mocha.
and i like my chocolate to be intense. i habitually eat chocolate that is 70% dark or darker as my preferred bar chocolate. i find that while it is possible to eat enough cheap milk chocolate to settle a chocolate craving, it's just better all around to eat a little bit of an 80% bar rather than to scarf down a half dozen milky ways.
the second pudding was also very good, if maybe still too sweet.
in the future i think i will experiment with reducing the amount of sugar used, which will make it at least marginally healthier as well.