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This recipe makes a wonderful chocolate pudding. Blend with ice to make a delicious chocolate smoothie.
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Instant ClearJel or cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla or espresso powder, or 1 teaspoon cinnamon (all optional)
2 cups milk or cream
1 cup chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, ClearJel or cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the water, then the flavor of your choice and the milk or cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, whisking till chocolate melts. Pour into a bowl, and stir occasionally as it cools, to prevent a skin from forming. Pour into a jar or other storage container, and lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the chocolate, again to prevent a skin from forming. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Yield: 4 1/2 cups chocolate pudding.
To make one frozen smoothie, place 1/3 cup pudding in a blender. Add about 1 cup ice cubes (and 1 ounce of the spirit of your choice, if desired), and blend till smooth. Alternatively, blend with chunks of banana, or a scoop of ice cream.
Feeling intemperate? Add vodka and coffee liqueur to 1/3 to 1/2 cup chocolate for the best sweet martini ever! To rim glass with cinnamon sugar, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon with 2 tablespoons sparkling sugar and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Wipe the edge of the glass with a wet cloth, then dip it into the sugar mixture.