Chocolate pudding with pretzel

<b>Chocolate pudding with pretzel crunch</b><br>
<br>
Prep: 10 minutes<br>
Cook: 8 minutes<br>
Chill: 2 hours<br>
Makes: 6 servings<br>
<br>
For a story on using pretzels in desserts, Chicago-based freelance food writer Lisa Futterman created a pretzel brittle to bring salty sweet crunch to homemade chocolate pudding.<br>
<br>
2 cups whole milk<br>
1/4 cup dark brown sugar<br>
Pinch salt<br>
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate<br>
2 tablespoons unsalted butter<br>
3 tablespoons cornstarch<br>
2 egg yolks<br>
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon cognac, brandy or dark rum<br>
1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks, chilled<br>
Pretzel crunch, see recipe below<br>
<br>
1. Heat 1 3/4 cups milk, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Off heat, stir in the chocolate and butter until chocolate is melted and the mixture looks smooth.<br>
<br>
2. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl; stir to blend. Gradually stir into chocolate mixture; return mixture to medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and boiling, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes.<br>
<br>
3. Remove from heat. Add a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture to the yolks while stirring vigorously. Repeat three times. This will temper the egg yolks. Stir yolk mixture into chocolate mixture; add vanilla, whisking until smooth. Place in a bowl, with plastic wrap directly on the surface; chill in refrigerator, 2-3 hours or overnight.<br>
<br>
4. To serve, spoon the pudding into six dessert bowls, layering in the crunch . Top with whipped cream and more crunch.<br>
<br>
<i>Pretzel crunch</i><br>
Combine 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan. Heat to a boil over high heat; cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to caramelize. Swirl the pan carefully until the syrup looks amber, like maple syrup, about 15 minutes. Carefully add 2 cups salted pretzels (sticks, rings or twists), lightly broken, off the heat; pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading as thin as possible. Allow to cool at room temperature, then break into pieces.

Chocolate pudding with pretzel crunch

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Makes: 6 servings

For a story on using pretzels in desserts, Chicago-based freelance food writer Lisa Futterman created a pretzel brittle to bring salty sweet crunch to homemade chocolate pudding.

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch salt
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1 tablespoon cognac, brandy or dark rum
1 cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks, chilled
Pretzel crunch, see recipe below

1. Heat 1 3/4 cups milk, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Off heat, stir in the chocolate and butter until chocolate is melted and the mixture looks smooth.

2. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl; stir to blend. Gradually stir into chocolate mixture; return mixture to medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and boiling, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Add a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture to the yolks while stirring vigorously. Repeat three times. This will temper the egg yolks. Stir yolk mixture into chocolate mixture; add vanilla, whisking until smooth. Place in a bowl, with plastic wrap directly on the surface; chill in refrigerator, 2-3 hours or overnight.

4. To serve, spoon the pudding into six dessert bowls, layering in the crunch . Top with whipped cream and more crunch.

Pretzel crunch
Combine 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a heavy saucepan. Heat to a boil over high heat; cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to caramelize. Swirl the pan carefully until the syrup looks amber, like maple syrup, about 15 minutes. Carefully add 2 cups salted pretzels (sticks, rings or twists), lightly broken, off the heat; pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spreading as thin as possible. Allow to cool at room temperature, then break into pieces.

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