Preparing family meals during Passover is stressful under normal circumstances, but this year, with the specter of a global pandemic hanging over our heads, that task is even more challenging than usual. Not only are we contending with the strictures of the holiday, but we are also trying to minimize trips to the grocery store and facing shortages of critical ingredients. That’s a lot of obstacles to overcome.
At this moment, recipes that rely on shelf-stable ingredients – as opposed to perishable ones like milk and eggs – are especially handy. And a kosher-for-Passover recipe that is made with only shelf-stable ingredients? Well, that is truly something to celebrate. Happily, this recipe – for vegan chocolate pudding – fits the bill.
Is anything more comforting than a dish of rich, creamy chocolate pudding? It’s a favorite with adults and kids alike and for good reason. This vegan version of the classic dessert is as chocolatey and indulgent as the original, but it is made with canned coconut milk instead of milk, eggs or cream. And to top your vegan chocolate pudding? Whipped coconut cream of course!
To make this dairy-free chocolate pudding a bit more sophisticated – and a worthy end to a holiday meal – flavor it with warm, Mexican-inspired spices, like cinnamon and a hint of cayenne pepper. If you have some on hand, espresso powder will also enhance the chocolate flavor, but if this ingredient is not already in your pantry, do not worry about it.
This recipe is incredibly easy to make, but there is one catch. You must plan ahead. First, for the whipped coconut cream topping, it is important to chill the coconut milk for a full 24 hours before whipping it so the fats will solidify. Even better than full-fat coconut milk for these purposes is coconut cream – if you can find it.
In addition, once you make the pudding, it needs several hours in the refrigerator to firm up. If you are planning to serve the pudding in the evening, prepare it that morning at the latest. But honestly, the night before is even better.
Once we are past Passover, keep this recipe in mind. It is very useful for anyone who keeps kosher as a sweet end to a meat meal or for when you are entertaining friends who are vegan or are dairy-free for other reasons.
For the whipped coconut cream:
- 2 cans coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, chilled for 24 hours
- 1/2 cup sugar
For the chocolate pudding:
- 12 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids
- 3 cups (two 13 oz cans) unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- To make the whipped coconut cream, chill a mixing bowl for 10 minutes. Spoon the solidified coconut cream into the chilled mixing bowl, reserving the liquid.
- Whip coconut cream on high speed. If the mixture is too thick or lumpy, add some of the liquid from the can. Once the mixture is smooth, gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whip. Whip on high speed until smooth and creamy. Chill for several hours.
- To make the pudding, chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Heat the coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, espresso powder, if using, and cayenne in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Gently bring mixture to a simmer whisking constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
- Pour warm coconut milk mixture over the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted.
- Cover and chill until pudding is set, 6-8 hours or overnight.
- To serve, spoon pudding into individual ramekins or serving dishes. Top each dish with a dollop of coconut whipped cream.