Monday, April 20, 2009

Milk: Unfriendly chocolate pudding

I prefer a dessert that is too sweet to one that is not sweet enough. Anne Mendelson's old-fashioned chocolate pudding calls for 2 cups milk, 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, and 1/3 cup sugar. It was incredibly, almost inedibly, austere. For comparison, I looked at my 1946 Joy of Cooking, which also contains a recipe for chocolate pudding. This one calls for 2 cups milk, 1 ounce chocolate and  1/2 cup sugar. Very sensible! More sugar, less chocolate, almost certainly a milder, tastier pudding.

What is with our weird national obsession with ever darker, harsher chocolate? It's ruining all the desserts! You know what's a good way to eat chocolate? In a malted. Or in a Hershey's bar. Or in a thin layer coating the coconut in an Almond Joy. I'd sooner eat a bowl of boiled cabbage than a big hunk of fancy bittersweet chocolate.

UPDATE: Actually, I'm all wrong. I just saw a copy of the ancient Fannie Farmer cookbook from which Mendelson took her severe chocolate pudding recipe. It is exactly the same. I guess my theory is a bust; people were already going for the extra-dark chocolate in 1948. Maybe it really is just me.


  1. We'll just have to agree to disagree. Milk chocolate is just too sugary for me.

    I'm part of the problem!

  2. Yeah, I too have the converse of your opinion on chocolate. I don't worship it in any form, but if I'm going to have some, I'll do a chunk of something dark and bitter over candy-bar-style milk chocolate anytime. Malt is a flavor I can't abide (Milk Duds? Aptly named), and Hershey bars taste like brown candle wax. But as always, you have me hanging on your every word. "Sad dun-colored sludge" made my day.

  3. The pudding was just right, imso.