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Tartine Chocolate Pudding

Tartine Chocolate Pudding

Two of my favorite things to do in the winter are: 1) Eat pudding and 2) Get out of New York and visit California. It’s even better when I can combine these two wonderful things, like I did last year at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. This neighborhood bakery specializes in classic French desserts, but what drew me in while I was there was the rich, colorful, buttery brioche bread pudding. I sat down in the warm California weather and ate one of the largest bowls of pudding I have ever seen. The experience stuck in my mind, and I remembered Tartine when my mind turned to pudding this year. I mean that in every sense. This year my mind and energy level are taxed to the brink, and I actively search out things that will taste great and impress guests without requiring much effort.

My San Francisco foodie friend Ken recently surprised me with the new Tartine Cookbook. This book is beautiful, inside and out. The pictures of fruit tarts, layered cakes, croissants, trifle, scones, meringues and much more make you want to pack your bags for San Francisco immediately. Since that’s not an option for me right now, the opportunity to make these recipes at home was a dream come true. I decided to start with something simple, and turned to the Tartine Bakery to help me make chocolate pudding.

Tartine cookbook cover

I have always loved homemade chocolate pudding. I’m not talking about the “Snack-Pack crap” like my dad calls it, I mean the slow cooked style, with real cream and eggs. It seemed to take an eternity to make it when I was a kid, and I hated the constant stirring. After all of that, having to wait until it chilled before eating was just cruel and unusual punishment. This long wait (for usually mediocre pudding) is all solved with the Tartine recipe. I made the Tartine chocolate pudding late at night, and it was done and ready to eat in about 20 minutes. Of course I ate it warm, but that is the beauty of this pudding. While warm it is rich and creamy, and when cold it thickens to be more like a pot de creme, that will hold a spoon upright. This texture is a result of stirring in chopped chocolate at the very last step, which firms the custard as it cools. This also gives you the opportunity to affect the flavor by using different types of chocolate. Try a mexican spiced dark chocolate or tea infused chocolate for a different flavor.

This is the perfect stand-by holiday recipe. You can top it with whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a festive treat, or throw it in a crust for chocolate cream pie. I will try the pie option for Thanksgiving, possibly lining the crust with a layer of ganache. You have to love the holidays.

Chocolate Pudding
Recipe from the Tartine cookbook
Yield: 4 to 6 individual servings (or fills one 9″ pie crust)


1 3/4 cup (14 oz) Whole milk (I used 2% with good results)
1/2 cup (5 oz) Heavy cream
1/4 cup (1 oz) Cornstarch
3/4 cup (5 oz) Sugar
3 TBS (45 ml) Cocoa Powder
3 Large eggs
1/4 tspn (1 ml) Salt
2.5 oz Bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


  • Have ready a fine-mesh sieve placed over a large, heat-proof container.
  • Combine the milk and cream in a heavy, medium saucepan and heat to just under a boil.(Be sure to just warm it and keep it under a boil, or it may curdle and “break” the pudding. If this happens don’t worry, it won’t taste bad, it just won’t be as smooth.)
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch and sugar, and sift in the cocoa powder. Whisk until blended.
  • In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the salt until blended.
  • Add the egg mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk until well combined.
  • Slowly add half of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking constantly. (NOTE: Add the hot liquid slowly, or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.)
  • Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk mixture and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture has visibly thickened and registers 208F on a thermometer. This should take 5 to 7 minutes, depending on how cold your eggs are (Be sure to warm it slowly, don’t be tempted to turn the heat on high. On medium-low heat it only took 3-4 minutes for me).
  • Immediately pour the contents of the pan through the sieve. Add the chocolate and let the heat of the milk-egg mixture melt it.
  • Once the chocolate has melted, blend with an immersion blender for a full 5 minutes until no lumps are visible. (I whisked by hand without any problems).
  • Portion the pudding into cups. Let cool and serve at room temperature. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Thanks Ken!

Tartine Bakery Cookbook
$23.10 on Amazon.com >


Kristin says on November 21st, 2006 at 12:13 pm:

I think that looks sooo yummy!!

cheryl says on November 21st, 2006 at 8:12 pm:

I love this book! Happy Thanksgiving Kelli

Debbie says on November 21st, 2006 at 9:55 pm:

Looks delicious. I’ll give the recipe a try over the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Ray says on November 21st, 2006 at 10:31 pm:

It’s so nice to be quoted in such a high culture environment – Dad

Kelli says on November 22nd, 2006 at 1:16 am:

This book is really well done. I like how all of the measures are listed by volume and weight. The variety of recipes is also very good.

Dad- We all know how cultured you are.

Malini says on November 23rd, 2006 at 12:03 am:

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Kelli.
I miss New York, especially in fall and winter.
I am adding this book to my shopping list. Have you browsed through The Last Course by Claudia Fleming?

Kelli Bernard says on November 26th, 2006 at 7:11 pm:

Hi Malini- Happy belated Thanksgiving to you! It rained all day on Thanksgiving, so don’t feel too bad about not being here :) I haven’t seen the Last Course yet. I have to catch up on my cookbooks! How do you like it?

Leah says on November 28th, 2006 at 9:13 pm:

Hey Kelli! This is my first time commenting, so I want to say that I absolutely love your site (the design is just outstanding and inspires me so much), and I can’t wait until I can afford to order some Tea Sweets for myself. Anyway, my point is that I made this gorgeous pudding for Thanksgiving and ohhhh man. I threw in a teaspoon of instant coffee, because it’s a habit of mine whenever I bake anything chocolate like this. It was gorgeous, all cold and pot de creme-like! And topped with the whipped cream… I wanted to save all five little cups for myself, but I was nice and shared. Thanks again!

Kelli Bernard says on November 28th, 2006 at 9:50 pm:

Thanks Leah! I’m glad it worked out so well for you. I also made it for thanksgiving, but put all of it into a pie shell and topped it with vanilla bean whipped cream (I have a habit of adding vanilla bean paste to everything. Sounds like you with the coffee ;) ) It was SO good.

Nicky says on December 4th, 2006 at 9:03 am:

Hi Kelli,
Seems to be a pudding virus in the air… I’ve been making chocolate pudding at least 3 times last week and as I write this I’m thinking about having some more tonight. But I’m never patient enough to wait until it has cooled down!

Keri says on December 15th, 2006 at 7:04 pm:

As it happens, I blindly landed in San Francisco right down the street from this bakery (at the time, I had no idea I had completely scored on my location. I know now). I’ve tried lots of their goodies (see the gingerbread tiles on the cover? YUMMY), but not the pudding yet! Mmmm… maybe tomorrow… In any case, I bought this book for my sister-in-law who loves baking and cooking with her family. I know they will enjoy it.

Bpitti = Pleasure; Delight; Joy » Blog Archive » Tartine Chocolate Pudding says on February 14th, 2007 at 12:19 am:

[...] Tartine Chocolate Pudding [...]

Tartine Chocolate Pudding « bpitti says on March 20th, 2007 at 12:13 am:

[...] Tartine Chocolate Pudding [...]

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Lovescool is the documentation of a journey to discover what sweet things are out there, why people love them so much, and perhaps what it takes to start something new.

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An interest, that turned into a blog, that turned into a career. Kelli Bernard is now the owner and baker of Amai Tea & Bake House.

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