There exists, on the other side of the ocean, a chocolate pudding that, with just one silky spoonful, makes the world fade away until all that’s left is you, the spoon, and the cup of joy in front of you. This is not the pudding of your childhood…unless you grew up in a place where Danette pudding by Danone was readily available to you. Good news, you don’t have to hop on a plane to transport yourself to pudding nirvana, you just have to pull out a saucepan.
Put cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium sized saucepan. Whisk until blended.
On low heat, slowly pour the milk into the saucepan, whisking constantly until dry ingredients have been fully incorporated. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally, until hot. Do not allow the milk to boil.
Still on low heat, whisk in bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder until blended and smooth. Continue to cook over low heat, whisking continually until pudding starts to thicken (approx. another 10 minutes).
When the pudding has thickened just a little, remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
Place a sieve over a medium sized bowl and pour the warm pudding through the sieve, into the bowl, scraping the sieve to get as much of the pudding into the bowl as possible.
Place either a sheet of plastic wrap or a sheet of wax paper directly on the pudding, making sure the entire surface of the pudding is in contact with the plastic or paper. This will keep a brown “skin” from forming on the top. Refrigerate the pudding until cool.
Decorate with a dollop of whipped cream or chocolate shavings and serve.