Homemade Chocolate Pudding

from melskitchencafe.com

*Makes about 4 cups of pudding

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process or regular)

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cups whole milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk chocolate chips (or 6 ounces bar milk chocolate chopped)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt, whisking lightly. Whisk in the milk and cream to the sugar mixture until it is smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking or stirring occasionally. Once the mixture is at a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and large bubbles pop at the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin starting to form. Refrigerate the pudding until it is completely cool, at least 4 hours but up to 3 days, if it is stored in an airtight container. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream...or not.