This Mediterranean chocolate pudding dessert with pistachios and strawberries is based on the old fashioned way of making chocolate pudding. I used eggs, cornstarch, milk, unsweetened good quality cocoa and even butter. Pistachios and strawberries balance out the bittersweet chocolate spectacularly!
In my house we called chocolate pudding ‘puding me çokollatë’ and there are so many variations of this recipe across the Mediterranean. I have only started to add pistachios and strawberries now that I can easily find these two ingredients in the market as when I was little, I only saw pistachios and strawberries on Italian TV.
This recipe might seem too rich for some, so if you are looking for something lighter check out my chocolate mousse recipe (there’s no heat or whisking involved:)).
The last year we made this recipe during Christmas break and for Valentine’s Day. It’s really a great dessert to indulge on and you can make few servings too, so you don’t get tempted by leftovers:)).
And if you specifically love chocolate and pistachios flavor combo, check out my pistachio chocotone recipe.
What type of chocolate or cocoa do I need?
You need to buy good quality cocoa powder, unsweetened to make this recipe work. A lot of labels will even have it listed as ‘Cacao powder’. If you can find a chocolate store around your area, you’ll find a lot of options there. However, Whole Foods is a good alternative as well and one of their brands is on Amazon as well (affiliate) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder.
With good quality cocoa, the chocolate pudding will really be a treat especially if you’re a chocolate connoisseur or chocolate lover. This recipe with this combination of cocoa and sugar, does taste a little like a dark chocolate pudding.
Tip: – Don’t use hot chocolate cocoa! The final product won’t taste the same.
The ingredients I used to make this chocolate pudding are listed below:
- good quality unsweetened cocoa
- vanilla extract
You can tweak some of the ingredients to your liking, but if you want to experiment make one change at a time to see how it affects the recipe.
For example less cocoa or more milk, would still give you a chocolate pudding but the taste will be less ‘chocolatey’. Less cornstarch will yield a lighter consistency (more jiggly pudding) etc etc.
This is not a difficult recipe to make, especially if you have made any recipe that requires tempering of an egg mix in the past. Yes it’s a pudding recipe from scratch, but don’t be intimidated by it.
Let me see if I can break down the instructions in a more visual way so it makes it easier to read the recipe card later.
- prepare the egg mix in a glass bowl by whisking egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract
- prepare the cocoa mix in a medium saucepan with sugar, milk, cocoa and cornstarch
- once the saucepan has gotten hot (but not boiling yet), turn heat to simmer and start adding a ladle of the cocoa mix into the glass bowl to temper the eggs.
- then pour everything into the saucepan, whisk slowly but consistently and keep temperature in low heat. Whisking will help prevent lumps.
- chocolate will thicken as it reaches boiling point. Add butter just as it thickens.
- using a ladle add chocolate pudding into serving cups before pudding sets. Top with pistachios and strawberries, refrigerate for few hours before serving. Enjoy:)
I favor pistachios and strawberries for this chocolate pudding. But you can do any combination you like. Here are some ideas:
- walnuts and raspberries
- whipped cream
- shaved chocolate (now that’s a chocolate overload)
Chocolate Pudding topped with Pistachios and Strawberries
- 1 Whisk
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 Ladle
- 3 cups milk divided, 2 cups and 1 cup
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup cornstarch for not so thick pudding, use ¼ cup
- ½ cup cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup pistachios shelled
- fresh strawberries for topping and garnish
- For the egg mix, add 2 egg yolks, 1 cup of milk and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract to a glass mixing bowl, whisk to incorporate and set aside.
- Add a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 cups of milk, add sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add cornstarch and then cocoa powder. When adding cocoa powder, do it slowly because powder is light and can spill everywhere. Whisk to incorporate everything. As the cocoa mix is getting heated up, lower the stovetop heat. Once it's hot, you'll see bubbles starting to form on the surface (not boiling yet and it's not thick yet).
- Bring glass bowl close to saucepan. Add a ladle of chocolate mix from saucepan to glass bowl, mix vigorously to temper the egg mix. Continue with 1-2 more ladles. Then pour the egg mix into the saucepan and whisk everything together.
- Whisk slowly but continuously, this will prevent any lumps from forming.
- Once pudding starts getting thick, it will thicken up fast. Turn heat off and remove saucepan from stovetop. Using a ladle serve the pudding in the glasses or cups you'll use for serving.
- Let the pudding cool a little over the counter while you crush the pistachios and slice the strawberries. My personal preference is 1-2 tbsps of pistachios per cup with 2 slices of strawberries but you can obviously add these 2 toppings to taste. I also serve a plate of strawberries in the middle of the table for everyone to take more while they enjoy the pudding. Enjoy:).
- Total time is 2 hours and 20 minutes but 2 hours of that is chilling in the refrigerator so you aren’t cooking or doing anything active during that time for the recipe.
- This is a rich chocolate pudding, tastes like a dark chocolate pudding is using the right cocoa. So I want to make sure you know you’re in for a flavor treat:).
- Serving cups are about 4 ounces in size.
I have made this recipe with whole milk or 2%, results are similar but taste wise I prefer whole milk. This chocolate pudding is based on an old fashioned recipe, it includes eggs, milk and cornstarch. Enjoy in small quantities if calories are a concern:).
Short answer is as soon as pudding thickens. It seems you’re whisking for hours when really it’s only few minutes and the consistency doesn’t change, then at some point everything comes together and pudding becomes thicker and it gets harder to whisk. This is when you remove it from the heat, otherwise either milk will burn at the bottom of the saucepan and not smell pleasant or eggs will curdle and pudding loses consistency.
I understand from years of watching cooking shows that people use one or the other (eggs for custards and cornstarch for pudding like consistency). But this is an old fashioned recipe, mostly how we used to make it back home without the toppings pictured. So I love to indulge in this Mediterranean dessert occasionally because it brings back memories:).
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions or feel free to tag me in social with your version of this recipe. I love seeing your creations:). Thank you for reading my blog!!
Other Dessert Recipes
Feel free to check some of my other desserts:).