Mexican chocolate pudding topped with sweet pepitas is my choice of Cinco de Mayo dessert this year. A classic chocolate pudding goes Mexican-style with a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne. Pepitas, initially introduced in a pumpkin seed salsa recipe to kick off the week, now get the sweet treatment courtesy of sugar and agave nectar.
If spiced chocolate pudding does not appeal to your taste buds, simply omit the cinnamon and cayenne pepper to enjoy a classic chocolate pudding. As for the pepitas, they are as delicious scattered across a dish of ice cream, oatmeal or fresh fruit as they are pudding. Or just enjoy them by the handful. I definitely did, and I enjoyed every bite.
Thanks for joining me for Cinco de Mayo week. Enjoy a happy weekend!
- For the Pudding
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 6 ounces chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used dark chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- For the Pepitas
- 2 cups raw (green) pepitas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler (or a dish - not Pyrex - set above a saucepan filled with a bit of water).
- Slowly whisk in the milk until fully incorporated with the dry ingredients.
- Bring the water in the double boiler to a simmer, and occasionally whisk the ingredients on top to ensure they remain incorporated.
- Add the chocolate when the mixture thickens to the point that it coats the back of the spoon, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir the chocolate in for until the pudding is smooth and thickened, about two to four minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon and cayenne.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any lumps (don't stress if you do not have a strainer- you will just enjoy the occasional lump in the pudding) and into a serving bowl.
- Pour into serving dishes and refrigerate at least 30 minutes until soft set. To prevent a skin from forming on the pudding, cover the top of the pudding itself with plastic wrap before refrigerating. If you like the pudding skin, simply cover the top of the dish with plastic wrap.
- While the pudding sets, prepare the pepitas by stirring them together with the olive oil and agave nectar followed by the sugar.
- Transfer the pepitas into a skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure you get all of the sugary mixture into the skillet as well.
- Stir constantly until the pepitas are fragrant and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about two to four minutes.
- Spread the warmed pepitas across a sheet of parchment paper and allow to cool.
- Before serving, heap a few spoonfuls of the pepitas onto the dishes of pudding.