Gluten-Free Cocoa Pudding Recipe
It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas here in Florida. As I write this, it’s 57 degrees! Around these parts, that’s in the range of upper chilly, although it has been known to get down to the 30s in January and February which around here is known as freezing. I know, I know … you Northerners are rolling your eyes right about now. But believe it or not, combine a chilly temperature with the moisture in the air from being almost completely surrounded by water and it definitely makes you want to bundle up with a cup of cocoa!
However, since this is Florida after all, and by the time this post goes up it could be back into the 80s, I decided to make a Gluten-Free Cocoa Pudding instead of a hot cup of cocoa. This way, you get the flavors of cocoa but in a cold or room temperature dessert.
Might I just say, this pudding is divine! It’s perfectly balanced in sweetness and chocolatiness and has an excellent addition on top – meringues made with a pasture-raised egg (I use Nature’s Yoke).
The cool way of making these meringues is something I learned from Gordon Ramsey – his book, not him personally. Darn! Once you try this method, you may never go back to the old way of doing it.
Gluten-Free Cocoa Pudding Recipe
- 1 large pastured egg separated
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated sugar divided
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 3 cups milk
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1¾ teaspoons pure vanilla extract divided
- 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
For the Pudding:
- Place egg yolk in a large mixing bowl and beat it with a fork. Place egg white in a medium mixing bowl and reserve for later.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Gradually pour some of the hot cocoa mixture into the bowl containing the egg yolk and whisk well. Add the rest of the hot cocoa mixture gradually, whisking constantly. Add the chocolate chips and whisk until melted. Whisk in 1½ teaspoons of the vanilla extract.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl or pitcher and divide between 6 cups or dessert bowls. Let the pudding cool and cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.
- While the pudding is getting cold, make the meringues.
For the Meringues:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a flat tray suitable to go in the microwave with a piece of parchment paper. If you don’t possess such a thing you can use a small cutting board or flip over a Pyrex baking dish.
- Beat the reserved egg white with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Add ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
- Spoon the mixture into a small plastic food storage bag and snip off ½ inch from one of the bottom corners. Pipe the meringue onto the prepared tray in 12 (1-inch) squares. Moisten your finger with a bit of water and gently push down any little peaks. Place the meringues in the microwave and cook on highest power for 30 seconds. Remove the meringues from the microwave, dust generously with the confectioners’ sugar, and transfer parchment paper holding the meringues onto a baking sheet. Cook for 4 minutes or until lightly golden brown. The meringue should feel crispy on the outside but soft and marshmallow-like in the center. Let cool completely. Can be made an hour or two ahead.
- To serve, take the puddings out of the fridge for a few minutes to take the chill off. Gently slide the meringues off the parchment paper using a spatula and top each pudding with two meringues.
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