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Chocolate-Mint Pudding

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)
Fresh mint leaves steep in fat-free milk to impart the herb's essence; the taste is much better than that of mint extract. Unless milk is stabilized with a thickener such as flour or cornstarch, it will "break," or curdle, when it becomes too hot; that's why it's important to go no higher than 180 degrees at the beginning of step one.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves (about 1/2 ounce)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • Mint sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 227
  • caloriesfromfat 25 %
  • fat 6.4 g
  • satfat 3.2 g
  • monofat 2.5 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 6.7 g
  • carbohydrate 39.4 g
  • fiber 1.2 g
  • cholesterol 105 mg
  • iron 1.1 mg
  • sodium 106 mg
  • calcium 173 mg

How to Make It

  1. Heat milk over medium-high heat in a small, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat; add mint. Let stand 15 minutes; strain milk mixture through a sieve into a bowl, reserving milk. Discard solids. Return milk to pan; stir in sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt. Return pan to medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk until mixture thickens.

  2. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl; gradually add half of hot milk mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add egg mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thick. Remove from heat; add vanilla and chocolate, stirring until chocolate melts. Pour pudding into a bowl; cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap. Chill. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.