Rich and creamy, this pudding will make you wonder why you buy the processed versions from the store. There’s nothing artificial or unpronounceable here, just good old milk, eggs, sugar, and a few other real food ingredients. Whip up a batch and serve in tiny cups with Oreo cookies for dipping, or larger portions just on its own. I dare you not to lick the bowl.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2  1/2 cups milk (1% works well)
4 large egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract

  In a medium sized saucepan that isn’t on the heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cocoa. Gently stir in the milk, a little bit at a time.  You want to be sure to really dissolve the cornstarch well. Next, whisk in the egg yolks.

  Get a sieve and put it over a medium-sized bowl by the stove, and set aside.

  Put the pan on medium heat and stand there, stirring constantly. You can’t leave the pot-and honestly, it’s going to feel like it’s taking forever. If you have an older child that may want to help, here’s your chance to get them involved!

  Whisk, whisk, whisk until the mixture transforms from runny to thick. This happens quite quickly so don’t be alarmed—when the pudding finally has a big bubble blurp up from being good and hot, turn the heat off and cook, whisking, for 1 more minute.

  Take the pudding off the heat and pour into the sieve, gently pushing the mixture through. Don’t skip this step because it will catch any little bits of cooked egg and keep your pudding nice and smooth.

  Stir in the butter and vanilla until the butter melts into the mixture and all is well combined.  Cover with cling film, making sure that it’s directly against the surface of the pudding. Before you serve it, give the pudding a good whisk and the spoon into 4 small bowls or ramekins.

Serves 4

Adapted from Martha Stewart