Glissade Chocolate Pudding
A chocolate pudding that is hard to beat. From this day forward, if you come to my house for dinner, and I decide chocolate pudding might be a nice finish to the meal, this is the recipe I'll be using.
I've done chocolate pudding many, many ways over the years. And it's nearly always good. But from this day forward if you come to my house for dinner, and I decide chocolate pudding might be a nice finish to the meal, this is the recipe I'll be using. It's from a whimsical, illustrated French children's cookbook published by Random House in 1966, La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants, with text and drawings by Michel Oliver. The pudding completely caught me off-guard, in the best way possible.
French versus American Chocolate Pudding
This is not like a typical American chocolate pudding, it has no milk, cocoa powder, or cornstarch - which makes sense because it is from a French book. This is more of a deep, concentrated, dark chocolate mousse, although if you're used to chocolate mousse that has whipped cream folded in, it's different from that as well.
Tips & Tricks
The key here is good chocolate, then a gentle touch bringing a short list of common ingredients together, and the bit of patience required to let the pudding cool and set. That last part makes all the difference. Time in the refrigerator allows the pudding to set into the densest dark chocolate cloud imaginable, the consistency of whipped frosting.
Choosing the Right Chocolate
I'll make note in the recipe below, but you'll want to use good-quality chocolate in the 60-80% range - semi-sweet to bittersweet. Aside from the chocolate, you're only adding a bit of water and butter, a sprinkling of sugar, and two eggs, so don't skimp on the quality of ingredients here, there's really no place to hide. As you can see up above here, the book itself is incredibly charming. The edition I have alternates French and English pages, so you'll have a page in French, then the same page in English. The French title for this recipe is "Glissade" which they've translated on the following English page to Slippery Chocolate Pudding - which made me smile. Keep your eyes peeled, you can find copies of La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants (Making French Desserts and Pastry is Child's Play) here and there if you look around. If you're looking for more chocolate recipe inspiration, I have a few recommendations for you. You must give this flourless chocolate cake a try for starters. Beyond that, you can't go wrong with these incredible brownies, and everyone loves this Violet Bakery Chocolate Devil's Food Cake.
Glissade Chocolate Pudding
Use the best quality chocolate you can get your hands on - preferably in the 60-80% range. Also, this is the perfect make-ahead dessert, you can absolutely make it a day ahead of time. I've also done it with muscovado/brown sugar - A+! Also, as noted below, this recipe does feature raw egg* - I buy and use the best eggs I can, keep them refrigerated, and am personally comfortable with the risk (and I always mention if I'm serving something with raw egg in it). But it's really up to each individual to make the call. The standard disclaimer recommends children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an immune system disorder should avoid eating uncooked egg because of salmonella risk.
- 2 eggs, brought to room temperature shortly before using*
- 6 ounces / 170 g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons fine grain sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- fine grain sea salt
- to top: heavy cream, loosely whipped, slightly sweetened (optional)
Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold very stiff peaks.
Combine the chocolate, water, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a double boiler. If you don't have a double-boiler, you can fashion one by combining the ingredients in a medium stainless steel bowl, and then placing this bowl atop a small simmering saucepan of water. The idea is to apply just enough gentle heat to melt the chocolate. Stir until the ingredients come together smoothly.
Remove from heat, and beat in the egg yolks. Add the egg whites, and fold gently until the pudding is uniform in texture. Pour the pudding into serving cups or glasses, and chill well - preferably for a few hours. Serve topped with a bit of whipped cream.
*This recipe does use raw egg - children, pregnant women, the elderly, and anyone with an immune system disorder should avoid eating uncooked egg because of salmonella risk.
Adapted from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants by Michel Oliver. Published by Random House, 1966.
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What a charming cookbook and lovely pudding. I will try this tonight, I have all the ingredients. I love that you used canning jars, great for travel & storage.
I agree. Chocolate pudding is almost always good as long as you put some good chocolate into it! This looks awesome!
Lovely. And may I add that I really respect how meticulous you are with your sources and attributions, because in the "look at me! Where's my book deal?" world we live in, your approach is by no means a given. Recipes are expressions of so much that binds us together as human beings, not the least of which are emotional connections that transcend time and place, but only if we don't break the chain. Many thanks.
I am very excited to try this! Just a general question about the unsalted butter.... I notice that a lot with baking and other desserts. Does it really make the difference or can I just use what I have on hand which is salted butter?Thank you!!!
HS: I tend to like salted chocolate, so I can imagine using salted butter would be fine here.
Such an incredibly charming book, one I definitely want to hunt for. The recipe looks particularly good and sounds very similar to the lovely chocolate pudding my husband and I shared the weekend he whisked me off to Paris to propose...wasn't that long ago! It too was topped with heavy cream and lovely and feather-light! Your post is so timely, our wedding anniversary is coming up in June, definitely going to make it for him. He has never been keen on eggs, raw or otherwise, but it has never been a problem when chocolate or cake are involved and so long as I don't tell him!!!
That's such a lovely children's cookbook! I reckon it would suit many adults, too... the proof is in your pudding! ;)
This book looks so sweet! I'm certainly going to try to hunt down a copy.
This is so perfect in its simplicity.
It's amazing, I adore ! It's wonderful to see that you know this book ! It is with him that I began to make some pastry when I was a child! I... and I didn't know that there was a bilingual version... I wanted to get it back at my parent's there is some time but they have to give the it because they didn't have it any more, so I was very disappointed... Whatever...this article affects me particularly ! Thanks a lot for the recipe too and take care of this lovely book ! A faithful reader and a french blogger, Isabelle.
Anyone familiar with "pasteurized" eggs? Would they work? Thanks.
This recipe looks great, but what is fine grain sugar? is that confectioner's sugar? I am confused.
HS: Hi Sudha - just granulated sugar, or the finest sugar you have.
Looks simple and delicious! Did you do all the chilling with the whipped cream on top, or top them off just before serving?
HS: I've done it both ways Barb.
Oops, just reread your posting and see that you recommend bittersweet chocolate and no skimping. Have you tried skimping on sugar?
HS: Hi Kristin, you can likely tweak the amount of sugar to your liking with good results.
I wonder, do you think this could be done with unsweetened chocolate and sugar substitute (like Splenda or stevia)?
HS: You know Katey, I think with a bit of experimenting you could likely make it work. Or even a version with maple/honey.
I've been a fan of your recipes for a long time now. This recipe is how I learned to make chocolate mousse as a young cook, back in the 80's!! I've not seen a recipe similar since, there is always whipped cream added to a ganache, I'm going to make this one the first chance I get :))
In Brazil we have both versions of chocolate pudding... The french one - made with chocolate and fluffed with egg whites - we call "mousse de chocolate" (cocoa mousse) and the american one - made with milk and cocoa powder - we call "pudim de chocolate" (cocoa pudding). Were I come from in Brazil there was a time in the 19th century when it was fashionable for well to do families to send their sons to study in France. We got a lot of french techniques from that time, such as the chocolate mousse. In the first half of the 20th century the american influence was felt - starting with the 2nd World War and culminating with the support for the dictatorship - and cultural dominance - by the US. Nowadays, it is just a cultural oddity, since every-damn-little-thing is available online.
I love this book! At home, I have a copy of his "La cuisine est un jeu d'enfants", which has all kinds of savoury recipes, and some desserts at the end. It is so charming, and has notes written in a child's hand in it, which I think is adorable. This pudding sounds delicious!
I dont know what's better...the recipe, the photos, the chocolate!!! or that supppppper cute book. Omg, toooo adorable! love it! :)
This looks phantastic! It's funny with the raw eggs: the recipe is from a book for children, yet we've become so cautious that we can't recommend it for them anymore :) I will make this soon and eat it together with my children (who have eaten raw eggs before)!
What a lovely surprise to see my favorite cookbook from my childhood! I just bought the other one called "la cuisine est un jeu d'enfant" for my sons and it is equally as wonderful, particularly as the recipes are truly doable for children!