The smooth, chocolaty pudding used to make these pops is great to eat on its own, not frozen -- just in case you run out of popsicle molds.
Miniature versions of these are served at Birch & Barley in Northwest Washington.
Yield: Makes half-cup popsicles
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 9 ounces dark (bittersweet) chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Have 8 or 16 half-cup-capacity popsicle molds at hand.
Combine the milk, cream and eggs in a large saucepan and whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat.
Combine the sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in a bowl, then whisk the mixture into the saucepan. Once bubbles start to form at the edges, cook for about 7 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching (cornstarch sinks to the bottom and can burn easily). The mixture will form a shiny, soft pudding. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the butter and then the chocolate, mixing until well incorporated and smooth. Add salt to taste; mix well. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pushing it through with a flexible spatula. The pudding should be smooth; the yield should be about 8 cups. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for about 3 hours, until completely chilled.
At this point you can spoon the pudding into popsicle molds and freeze until fully set. If you're working with 8 molds, repeat the process after the pops have frozen.
To unmold, run the molds briefly under warm water so the pudding pops dislodge easily. Serve immediately, or return to the freezer.
VARIATION: For an optional finishing touch, melt dark (semisweet or bittersweet) chocolate in a bowl set over, but not touching, barely simmering water in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir until smooth, and remove from the heat. Dip each frozen pudding pop into the chocolate, gently shaking off any excess. The chocolate coating should set fairly quickly because the pop is so cold.
From Tiffany MacIsaac, pastry chef at Birch & Barley in Northwest Washington.
Tested by Becky Krystal.
Email questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.