Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You are gluten-free. You are dairy and casein-free. You are sugar-free. You are egg and soy-free. You are guilt-free.

This pudding is practically health food. Minimally processed dark chocolate has a very high amount of flavonoids, a compound found in plants that help repair the plant from environmental damages. By eating dark chocolate, we are protecting ourselves from our own environmental toxins. The flavonoids also increase blood flow, which can help reduce high blood pressure. The coconut milk is no slouch either. Most of the fat in coconut milk is the kind that our bodies use for energy, not the kind that is stored for fat. It is also a good source of calcium.

This recipe is adapted from Joy of Cooking's recipe for Chocolate Pudding. The sugar called for in the original recipe has been replaced with agave nectar, and the half-and-half replaced with unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage. The result is just as rich and creamy as the original version. 

Chocolate pudding, why do I love thee? Because you are a cool, creamy, velvety version of a rich dark chocolate truffle. Without the guilt.

CF Dark Chocolate Pudding
from giddyupglutenfree, 2010 

Adapted from Joy of Cooking
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup pure organic cacao powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup warm water
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, unsweetened
1 1/2 tsp GF vanilla extract

3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage

In a small saucepan, stir together the agave nectar, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually stir in the warm water, making a smooth paste. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until it is melted. Stir in the coconut milk.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup coconut milk until it is a smooth paste. Thoroughly stir it into the chocolate mixture. Cook, whisking constantly over medium heat until the mixture is thick and just begins to boil. (The thicker and hotter it gets, the more briskly it should be stirred.) Remove from heat and add vanilla. 

Pour the pudding into serving dishes, and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming as it cools. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then dive into a deep, dark, satiny lovin' spoonful.
Makes four servings.

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