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So I love angel food cake kind of a lot. I also love egg yolks kind of a lot. But TWELVE leftover egg yolks post angel-food cake baking is a whole hell of a lot to use up all at once, even for me. I used to do one of two things: make crème brûlée, or make the French Laundry's Doughnuts. This time, I wanted to try something new and a lot more low-key. Enter MOTHERFUCKING CHOCOLATE MOTHERFUCKING PUDDING.

You guys. Oh my God. Sam and I ate some warm out of the oven, and we almost fell over. We brought some over to Sam's parents (this recipe makes a LOT of pudding), and when his dad took a bite, his eyes opened all the way, and he said "Dang, this is the best thing I've ever had in my life."

I don't know if this is going to be the best thing you've ever had in your life, but I'm pretty sure it's going to be a strong contender, assuming, of course, that you love chocolate and dairy and all that is good and right with the world.

All right, so here's how you do it:

What You Need
12 egg yolks
1 whole vanilla bean (or a fuckton of high-quality vanilla essence/paste)
11 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces (something in the 60-something percent range is good; much darker and you might maybe run into problems with graininess)
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar (you can taste the mix as you go and find the perfect balance for you—I tend to like my desserts richer and less sweet, and 3/4 cup was the point when the mixture popped for me)

Helpful: about twelve 4 oz. ramekins. Me? I used four 3 oz. ramekins and one 9" x 9" glass baking pan.

What You Do
1. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the cream and milk and turn up the heat to medium-high. While the mixture is warming up, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the beans into the liquid with the tip of a sharp thing—paring knife is good, but toothpicks and skewers also work fine in a pinch. Drop the entirety of the pod into the pan and stir the mixture occasionally until it starts to simmer.

2. Add the chocolate pieces and sugar, and whisk gently until all of it has melted and the mixture is starting to boil very gently. (Pro tip: don't let the mixture boil over, unless you're bored and want to mop up the stove and the floor beneath it as the cream goes crazy and froths all over the place. Not that I've EVER done that. Ahem. Koff.)

3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. If you're enterprising, you can pour the mixture into a bowl and set it in an ice bath, which cools it within an hour or so. Or you can be lazy like me and surf the Internet for a few hours, or make a lasagna, or whatever.

4. Whisk the egg yolks into the mixture. Don't be too vigorous with the mixing, because frothing it results in too much trapped air, which makes the pudding look and feel a bit weird. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, and discard any solids.

5. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Prepare a hot water bath for your babies, your precious, precious puddin' babies. I basically boiled a bunch of water, set the ramekins and the baking pan into my biggest roasting pan, and added enough hot water to come up about 3/4 of the way on the ramekins.

6. Divide the chocolate pudding mixture into the assorted receptacles you have for them, and bake for about an hour, or until the sides are set but the middle is still kinda jiggly. My 3 oz. ramekins were ready to come out after about an hour, but the 9x9 stayed in for another hour.

7. Cool at room temperature for about an hour, then cover the containers and pop 'em in the fridge; chill for another hour or so.

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misshepeshu

December 2013

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