Double Chocolate Pudding
Four to six servings
In the United States, unsweetened chocolate is often called “bitter chocolate” (not bittersweet chocolate) or “baking chocolate.” In France, it’s called pâte de cacao, or cocoa paste, sometimes with a “99%” or “100%” notation before it. (Lindt makes a bar, which is available internationally. Otherwise check professional baking supply shops. In Paris, they stock it in bulk at G. Detou.) If unsure, check the list of ingredients. Unsweetened chocolate will not have any sugar in the list of ingredients.Cocoa nibs are available in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food shops, and online. If you can’t get them, or would prefer, you could use an equal amount of lightly toasted, chopped nuts, in place of them for the cocoa nib brittle. If you’ve not make caramel before, you may wish to review my post, How to Make the Perfect Caramel, which includes step-by-step pictures.
For the double chocolate pudding:
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175g) sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons (30g) corn starch
1/8th teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cup (530ml) whole milk
3 large egg yolks
2 ounces (60g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cocoa nib brittle:
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1/4 cup (25g) cocoa nibs
1. To make the double chocolate pudding, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar, corn starch, and salt.
2. Gradually whisk in 1 cup (250ml) of the milk, stirring until it’s lump-free. Mix in the rest of the milk, as well as the egg yolks and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring constantly with the whisk, until the mixture starts to boil and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
3. Once it starts to thicken, reduce the heat if necessary to keep the mixture at a very low boil, stirring constantly with the whisk or a heatproof spatula until the pudding is thick and holds its shape, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and scatter the chocolate over the top. Stir the chocolate in with a heatproof spatula, along with the vanilla, until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth.
4. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 glasses or bowls, and chill for at least two hours. Cover the tops if you wish to avoid a skin forming on the surface. (Which is my favorite part, but some don’t like it.)
If the mixture seems lumpy before you scrape it into the glasses, give it a couple of brisk stirs with a whisk, or press it through a mesh strainer to smooth it out.
5. To make the cocoa nib brittle, lightly oil a 12-inch (30cm) area on a baking sheet. Set aside.
6. Spread the 1/4 cup of sugar in a skillet, in an even layer. Heat over medium heat until the edges liquify, then begin to turn an amber color. Using a heatproof spatula, or other utensil, gently stir the liquified sugar in toward the center, stirring the mixture as gently as possible until the liquified sugar is a dark amber color and just begins to smoke.
7. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the cocoa nibs, just enough to that they are coated with the caramel. Scrape them onto the oiled part of the prepared baking sheet and spread as best you can, before it hardens. (If it gets too cool in the pan, you can rewarm the caramel with the nibs slightly over low heat, to make it spreadable.) Let the brittle harden at room temperature. When cool, crumble into little bits.

Serving: Serve the pudding with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, with crumbled brittle over the top.

Storage: The puddings will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator. The brittle can be made up to two weeks in advance and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. It can also be frozen, if well wrapped, for up to two months.