You may have heard me say, “never trust a skinny chef”, but I am trying to be more health conscious as I get closer to my 40s. In saying that, there are a few things I am not about to give up in a hurry – coffee, chocolate, salt.
It’s my morning mindfulness and coffee ritual that gets me going through the day. And let’s face it, Wellington is the coffee capital of New Zealand and, did you know, an International Coffee destination?!
Coffee also goes great with chocolate. And a little pinch of salt goes a long way! It cuts through the bitterness and brings out the sweetness in dark or bittersweet chocolate without adding sugar. In saying that, I don’t drink coffee at night with my chocolate desserts. It’s usually a red wine or a stout, all of which my waistline could do without.
After hearing about Goodbuzz Brewing Co.’s Coffee Kombucha I had to try some. Then it hit me… a lower fat chocolate dessert matched with Coffee Kombucha!!!
My challenge was set so I thought I’d start with something simple, yet rich and beautiful, that tasted so AMAZING you’d forget it’s good for you. And because I have difficulty stopping at one, it needed to rich enough so as not to feel sick while eating it but rich enough that one pottle would be just enough!
Immediately my mind went to chocolate pudding (aka custard depending where you live in the world): rich, smooth, so bad, so good. I also found a way to make it healthier… make it vegan.
Custard is usually made with eggs, sugar, milk or cream but I’ve learned from years of creating gluten free and vegan recipes you don’t need eggs to thicken a custard when you can use cornflour. For the milk or cream I decided to go with rice milk as it has a dairy-like smoothness you don’t get from soy milk or almond milk and the flavour worked better with the Goodbuzz Coffee Booch®.
Next I needed a high quality dairy free chocolate so it was a no brainer to use Wellington Chocolate Factory chocolate – I had to do a bit of taste testing to find the right chocolate notes. The Peru Norandino with hints of apricot, honey and the rich sweetness of cashew nut paired perfectly with the tanginess of the the Booch®.
Finally, the white elephant in the room: SUGAR. I decided to go with a nutrient rich malty flavoured sweetener to bring everything together, Ceres Organics coconut nectar syrup with some added Heilala Vanilla Paste. To top it off, and to give it some texture, I decided to garnish with cacao nibs and ViBERi freeze dried blackcurrant berries. The nutty bitterness of organic cacao nibs with the berry hit just make the pudding pop!
I hope you enjoy my creation as much as I do! I seriously had a Nigella moment when I was recipe testing this… It was late at night. I was all by myself with berry stained fingers slowly devouring my chocolate pudding savouring every mouthful with a hit of Goodbuzz Coffee Kombucha after every bite. All I needed was to dim the main switch and hang fairy lights!
Rich Dark Chocolate Custard Pudding
- 2 Tbsp (20g) Cornstarch (cornflour)
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa powder – Trade Aid Organic Baking Cocoa
- ¼ cup (100g) Coconut nectar – Ceres Organics Coconut Nectar Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla paste – Heilala Vanilla Paste
- 2 cups Rice milk (heated)
- 85g Dark or bittersweet 70% chocolate (grated) – Wellington Chocolate Factory Peru Norandino
- Pinch Celtic & NZ sea salt – find at Commonsense Organics
Sift cornflour and cocoa powder into a medium sized pot over a low heat. Adding coconut nectar and vanilla paste, whisk until combined and smooth. Then stir for a few minutes using a spoon or heat safe spatula to cook out the cornflour.
Carefully pour the warm rice milk into the nectar paste while whisking and increase heat to medium low – medium. Bring liquid to a low simmer then, while whisking, slowly add in grated dark chocolate. Once the chocolate is melted add a pinch (or a chef’s pinch) of salt.
Occasionally stirring, so the custard doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom, keep on a lower simmer to slowly thicken. You want a thick consistency – scrape your spatula along the bottom of the pan and if it leaves a path and it’s not in any hurry to fill it back up you know it’s ready!
Take your custard off the heat and spoon into small ramekins or glasses. If you want to be fancy, let the custard cook slightly, pop into an icing bag and pipe into glasses that are sitting on an angle. Top with cocao nibs and crushed freeze dried blackcurrants. Leave to cool. Cover and keep in fridge.
- Adding a little salt to melted chocolate cuts the bitterness and brings out the sweetness.
- If you don’t have coconut nectar you could replace with ½ cup of organic raw sugar.
- I definitely recommend not eating this just before bedtime! It definitely gives you a good buzz!
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© Copyright Elizabeth Marshall 2016. All rights reserved.