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Spiced Chocolate Pudding with Caramel Crisped Rice Cereal

Updated February 23, 2016
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Forget what you know about chocolate pudding. Instead, imagine a softer, creamier version of a richly spiced handmade truffle. Then top that with light, crispy bits of caramel. Yes, this is as good as it sounds. And no, it’s not at all difficult to make.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Chantilly

Makes 2 cups

1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

Whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sweetened condensed milk and salt and whisk until medium-soft peaks form. (When you lift the whisk from the cream, a peak should form and the very tip should fall back down.)

Makes8 servings

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationdessert

Mealdinner

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturechocolatey, creamy, crisp, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishpudding

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (24 ounces/681 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise in half, seeds scraped out, and seeds and pod reserved, or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 gelatin sheets, soaked in cold water and drained, or 1½ tablespoons powdered gelatin, softened in 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 9½ ounces (269 grams) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (8 ounces/227 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (3 1/8 ounces/90 grams) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (3½ ounces/100 grams) corn syrup
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3½ cups (3 ounces/85 grams) crisped rice cereal, preferably Rice Krispies
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Drunken Cherries , optional
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk Chantilly , optional (see Notes)

Instructions

To make the chocolate pudding: Put the cream, cardamom, star anise, vanilla seeds and pod, if using, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let the mixture sit, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Set the pan over medium-low heat, add the gelatin, and stir until dissolved. Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract, if using, then remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Divide among eight serving cups or bowls and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

To make the caramel crisped rice cereal: Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or foil. Put the sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a medium saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Cook, swirling the pan occasionally to evenly dissolve the sugar, until the mixture becomes a medium-dark amber that registers 320°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir the mixture well with a heatproof spatula, then add the cereal and salt and stir until all the cereal is well coated. Spread the caramelized cereal on the lined baking sheet, trying to separate the cereal into small clumps. Cool completely, until crisp. You can store the crisped cereal in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

To serve, un mold the puddings, if desired, and top with the caramel crisped cereal. If desired, garnish each with a spoonful of drunken cherries and a dollop of chantilly.

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