Do you have a dessert for tonight's dinner? A creamy dark chocolate little something to finish off the meal? A small dish of rich pudding sounds nice. The vegan chocolate pudding at the nearby Foundation Grounds cafe is my all-time favorite chocolate pudding and is better than versions made with eggs, butter and milk. Those ingredients, as it turns out, are not necessary for a luscious chocolate creation. Nor is time. This simple everyday recipe can be made in 10 minutes.
I've always made my own pudding just by whisking arrowroot starch, sugar, cocoa (for chocolate) and a little salt in a pan, adding milk and finishing it off with vanilla extract and butter. The fat from the butter gives pudding, and mousse, their lovely silky texture. So in making a vegan pudding, I substituted coconut oil for the butter and almond or coconut milk for cow's milk. Coconut oil is a funny ingredient as it's a solid at cooler air temperatures and a liquid at warmer air temperatures. It will not give a "coconutty" taste.
Use whimsy when putting the pudding in serving dishes; tea cups, mismatched bowls or little juice glasses. Here I use my grandmother's cordial glasses with mini pink plastic spoons that have been floating around in a drawer.
vegan chocolate pudding
3 Tbsp. arrowroot starch
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
pinch of salt, Celtic Sea Salt preferable
2 cups almond or coconut milk
1 oz. 70% dark chocolate (optional*)
1/2 tsp. brandy or vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp. coconut oil
In a medium pan whisk together the arrowroot starch, sugar, cocoa and salt. Over medium/low heat slowly whisk in the almond or coconut milk. DO NOT let it boil. Continue to whisk until it thickens, but is not as thick as you want the end product for the pudding will continue to thicken when removed from the heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and brandy. Let the chocolate melt and then stir. Finish by stirring in the coconut oil. Transfer to four or six serving bowls or one large bowl. Cool. Refrigerate until serving.
*Dark chocolate is considered vegan by many people and some brands of dark chocolate are labeled vegan. Omit if you do not wish to use it.