I’ve never really been much of a pudding person, it’s simply a dessert that’s never really been on my radar. I love mousses and cheesecakes and other creamy, rich desserts, but pudding just has never been my thing. I suppose it’s because I tend to associate it with the instant variety, the mostly tasteless goo that comes out of box and is the ubiquitous dessert of summer camps and school cafeterias everywhere. So I generally consider pudding beneath my notice as a dessert, too plebian, too mass-market, to be any good. You’ll have to forgive my snobbery, I simply didn’t grow up around good, homemade pudding. My prejudice is thus rooted in plain, old ignorance, as such prejudices usually are.
But my eyes have now been opened to the goodness that is homemade pudding. A few years ago, my husband expressed a craving for chocolate pudding. I made some for him and the kids and had a taste, and I had to admit it was far superior to the boxed variety, but I didn’t find myself itching to go out of my way to make it again. And then I wondered if I could make a low carb version with xanthan gum as the thickener, and went about experimenting on that. It was quite good, and ended up as the filling to a tart recipe included in Low Carbing Among Friends, Volume 1. But I still didn’t go out of my way to make it again. Finally, a few weeks ago as I was working away on other things, it popped into my head to make a version with coconut milk, for a slightly tropical-flavoured treat. I do love chocolate and coconut together.
Now, I am quite certain that I am not the first person to make pudding with coconut milk. In fact, I am quite certain that I’ve come across many other recipes in my travels over the internet. But I decided not to look at any of these and to see if I could adapt my own recipe to suit the consistency of coconut milk. I found I did have to change a couple of things to get it to thicken properly. I went with a little more xanthan gum, and I decided to use more cocoa powder and less chopped, unsweetened chocolate, as I’ve found that cocoa powder tends to act as a thickening agent in its own right. But I was still a little worried, when I poured it into the cups, as it seemed a little on the thin side and I wasn’t sure it would set very well.
The Results: My fears were baseless, happily enough. This turned out to be rich and creamy and the flavour was phenomenal. I loved the slight coconut-y taste, and I decided to enhance it a bit with some flaked coconut. But even if you’re not a fan of coconut, it’s not a strong presence and you would really taste mostly chocolate in the pudding itself. This is a recipe I will definitely make again. It was a hit with kids and adults alike.
One important note: do not go with light coconut milk. You need the fat in the coconut milk to help set the pudding. Besides, coconut oil/fat is good for you! Indulge and enjoy it!
Chocolate Coconut Milk Pudding
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk and granulated erythritol. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Slowly whisk tempered egg yolks back into the saucepan of hot coconut milk. Reduce heat to medium low and sprinkle with xanthan gum, whisking continuously. Stir in cocoa powder and cook until mixture thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in chopped chocolate and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract and stevia extract. Divide between 4 custard cups or ramekins and chill in refrigerator until set, 2 to 3 hours.
Garnish with lightly sweetened whipped cream, toasted coconut and a macadamia nut.
Serves 4. Each serving has 11.5 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 6.5 g.