Chocolate Pudding With Bay on a table in a Studio
Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Chocolate Pudding With Bay

This pudding is redolent of bay, whose aroma lingers on the palate. Fresh bay leaves give the pudding a wonderful fragrance you don't get when you use dried bay leaves, but either may be employed here. Serve at a cool room temperature, rather than straight from the refrigerator, to make the most of the bay leaves' aroma.

The pudding needs to be refrigerated for 30 to 45 minutes before serving.

From herb expert and cookbook author Susan Belsinger.


measuring cup
Servings: 6 (makes 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 large fresh bay leaves or 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Step 1

    Combine the half-and-half and bay leaves in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to bubble around the edges, remove the saucepan from the heat and cover it. Let it stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Combine the cornstarch, sugar, salt and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk.

  3. Step 3

    Pour the cornstarch mixture into the warm half-and-half; set the saucepan over medium to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly. After 8 to 10 minutes, the mixture will start to thicken. Be patient, and do not increase the heat.

  4. Step 4

    When the pudding begins to bubble, boil it, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate pieces until they are melted. Add the vanilla extract and stir well. Discard the bay leaves; divide the pudding among six ramekins or custard cups.

  5. Step 5

    Place the ramekins on a plate or pan and allow them to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 to 45 minutes. Serve at a cool room temperature and garnish with whipped cream, if desired.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    40 g

  • Cholesterol

    30 mg

  • Fat

    16 g

  • Fiber

    2 g

  • Protein

    4 g

  • Saturated Fat

    10 g

  • Sodium

    120 mg

  • Sugar

    29 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From herb expert and cookbook author Susan Belsinger.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick