While we’re more likely to bring out our pressure cooker for savory braises and stews, it’s just as adept at making a decadent dessert in record time. Take Sarah Copeland’s deep dark chocolate pudding (from her new Instant Family Meals cookbook) as an example.
“We’re a pudding family,” she proclaims. “I’m so not bothered by whipping up a from-scratch pudding on the stovetop, because it’s always worth it, and we almost always have the ingredients to pull it off: milk, eggs, chocolate, sugar. Still, a hands-off version (i.e., no stirring)—a true set-it-and-forget-it from-scratch pudding—is another of life’s little gifts, and one I’ll gladly accept. I suggest you do, too.” That’s where the Instant Pot comes in.
According to Copeland, cooking this pudding on low pressure yields a looser, creamier pudding, while high pressure produces a soufflé-meets-mousse texture. As irresistible as it is right out of the pot, you’ll want to let the pudding cool completely before serving or even dipping in. “To get the right texture, it’s essential that the steam settles,” she writes. “Dive in too early, and you’ll upset the delicate balance and flawless presentation.”
Reprinted with permission from Instant Family Meals. Copyright © 2020 by Sarah Copeland. Photographs copyright © 2020 by Christopher Testani. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Instant Pot Deep Dark Chocolate Pudding
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
1 cup half-and-half
5 large egg yolks
⅓ packed cup light or dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of fine sea salt
1. Place the chocolate in a medium metal bowl. In a medium saucepan (or a microwave-safe bowl), combine the milk and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat or microwave until warm. Pour the milk over the chocolate, and whisk until melted and smooth.
2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until completely smooth. Gradually pour the hot chocolate mixture into the yolks, starting with 1 cup (so the eggs don’t cook), and then adding the remaining chocolate mixture, whisking constantly to combine. (You can pause here and store this mixture for up to 2 days in the fridge.)
3. Pour the chocolate custard into a 6-by-3-inch or 7-by-3-inch ceramic ramekin and cover tightly with foil. Pour about 1 cup water into the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Set the ramekin on a steamer rack or trivet and use the handles to carefully lower it into the water, taking care not to splash any into the dish. Lock on the lid and Pressure Cook on Low Pressure (for a creamier finish) or High Pressure (for a mousse-like finish) for 18 minutes. Let the steam release naturally (about 20 minutes).
4. Open the lid and lift the ramekin out of the pot. Remove the foil, cool to room temperature and chill for 2 to 3 hours, or until ready to serve. The pudding will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.
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