When it comes to a holiday dessert, it’s all about chocolate. Here is an easy to make yet decadent dairy free bittersweet chocolate pudding recipe to thrill the chocolate lovers in your life. The French call these Pots de Crème (pronounced poh-du-krem) which sounds so fancy. Translation: pots of cream. My version is made with canned coconut milk for creamy smooth richness instead of dairy cream. For a sugar-free option, use chocolate stevia drops or monk fruit.
Dairy Free Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding
As a kid, chocolate pudding meant opening a box of Jello dry pudding mix, adding milk and following the directions. You can still do that today, but processed boxed chocolate pudding is no match for homemade, especially when its this easy. Plus this recipe is a lot richer and more decadent. Ingredients are easily kept in the pantry to have on hand anytime a sweet tooth or a special occasion hits.
It’s All About the Chocolate
For my baking and dessert needs I keep both block chocolate and chocolate wafers in my pantry. If you have a block of chocolate it’s much easier to knock it down to size using a long serrated knife.
To skip chopping altogether, try chocolate wafers or buttons. The block chocolate in my pantry is from Scharffen Berger and for the buttons I keep a box of Guittard Couverture Wafers. The wafers are about the size of a nickel. No chopping required, which makes it easier and faster…and better for nibbling. Other favorites are Valrhona and Theo chocolates, either 70% bittersweet or 85%. A combination works well too.
High quality chocolate is essential for a recipe like this, so if you can’t find high quality chocolate at a store near you, order it off Amazon by clicking on the names above. Valrhona is also available at Traders Joes near the checkout stand.
Another option, visit Chocosphere. This is a site that will send chocolate lovers into a trance. Chocosphere features 49 different brands of chocolates, almost from A to Z, from Alma Chocolate to Waialua Estate. To measure just the right amount of chocolate I always use a digital scale for accuracy. If you don’t have one, they are a worthwhile investment. I could not live without one in my kitchen.
Add a Little Spice and Espresso
If a spiced version sounds good (it won’t to the chocolate purists, I understand), try adding a little Chinese Five Spice when heating the coconut milk and espresso powder. Five Spice is a blend of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger and clove. It has a wonderful affinity for chocolate. I like to add Five Spice when I make chocolate gelato and it pairs well with this pudding recipe as well. Cinnamon all by itself is also a nice addition.
Another ingredient note – for the espresso powder, I use Medaglia d’Oro. If you can’t find it at the store it can be ordered off the internet. The link above is to Amazon and there are other sources. This won't make the pudding taste like coffee. A little espresso brings out the flavor of chocolate.
And if you love chocolate, how about an adult hot chocolate version, with or without liqueurs?
If you're looking for another classic show-stopper dessert everyone loves? Try my blender method mini creme brulee.
- 4 2-ounce ramekins or demitasse cups
- 6 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar or monk fruit blend, chocolate stevia
- 2 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso optional
- ½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice optional, or try plain cinnamon
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chocolate and sugar (or stevia) and pulse until the chocolate is finely ground. Add the egg, vanilla and salt and pulse to a paste.
- In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk, espresso powder and spice to almost a boil over high heat, whisking to incorporate. Be careful and watch as it comes to a boil. It can boil over in the blink of an eye, and its a terrible mess to clean up.
- With the food processor running, add the hot coconut milk in a steady stream and blend until smooth and silky, about 1 minute. This melts everything together and makes the pudding.
- Transfer the pudding to small ramekins and refrigerate. It will be easier if you first pour it into a large heat proof measuring cup with a pouring spout. Refrigerate until the puddings are set, about 2 hours or overnight. Puddings can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Wrap tightly in plastic film after they are cool and firm.