CHEW THIS! Chocolate Banana Pudding

CHEW THIS!

Chocolate Banana Pudding

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 2nd 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A chocolate twist on banana pudding…
Blaise Doubman

I have a confession to make! I am a raging, full-fledged, chocoholic! I have tried to control my temptations and I have tried to trace the roots of this problem back as far as my family tree will go, but I have yet to find a reason. I just love chocolate! My Grandma Barbra does not like chocolate that much, nor does my Mom, Darla, or my Grandma Deloris. The men in my family are none dessert lovers and a majority of my family say that chocolate is not even listed on their list of their favorite foods! What? Where did I get this obsession? People often squirm when I tell them my favorite food is chocolate. It really is! I eat chocolate at least twice a day, every day. I love milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, you name it! Unsweetened chocolate? No. I have tried this with my Mom and given the face I made, no wonder she laughed and laughed. Side note – chocolate is terrible with no sugar!

Every time I make something, even savory things (chili for example), I often think to myself, “How would this be with chocolate”. No matter what it is, I am always wondering how I can add chocolate! True story. I know, it may be a problem, but with some desserts, like the one I am sharing here, it can be a good thing! Chocolate Banana Pudding! Have you heard of anything like this before? If not, that is ok. A lot of the people I surveyed had no idea either so do not feel bad about it. I love the classic, southern staple that is banana pudding. I even have a recipe in my cookbook and on my blog about turning this classic, southern staple into a cake! It is delicious! You should try that too. But first, try this recipe! It is banana pudding, but the chocolate version! Chocoholics rejoice! Finally a banana pudding for you…

Chocolate Banana Pudding

If making this dessert, prepare for people to start talking! A lot of people love this dessert, but it seems that even more people have not heard of it before. My taste testers were a little skeptical about this but once they tried the recipe and tasted for themselves this chocolate version of the classic banana pudding, they fell in love! You can replace the vanilla wafers with chocolate wafers for a “chocoholics” version or even add some sliced strawberries into the mix, which results in a more “chocolate tropical” banana pudding.

For the pudding…
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
Pinch of salt
2 3/4 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the whipped cream…
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 large box vanilla wafer cookies

6 large bananas, prepared and sliced

Start by stirring together the white granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat with a wooden spoon.

Add the whole milk, and stir constantly until a full boil is reached. This will take several minutes, but you will know when it’s ready because the mixture will appear thick, and will easily coat the back of your spoon.

After thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the unsalted butter and pure vanilla extract. Once combined, let cool slightly. Pour into a large bowl and apply plastic wrap to the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

When ready to assemble the banana pudding, remove the pudding from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Add about 1 cup of the sliced bananas to the chocolate pudding and stir together very gently, being careful not to break up the sliced bananas.

Make the whipped cream by beating the heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. After stiff peaks form, stir in the white granulated sugar and pure vanilla extract. Beat for a few additional minutes until the cream is thick and holds a firm peak.

Layer a single layer of vanilla wafer cookies along the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan. Pour a little of the chocolate pudding mixture over the top and spread evenly. Spread over a layer of the whipped cream and spread evenly. Place a few of the sliced bananas on top. Repeat these processes until all of the ingredients are used up, ending with the whipped cream on top. Finish by layering vanilla wafer cookies all over the top, and slightly crushing a few and sprinkling over.

Serve immediately, or place in the refrigerator, covered, to chill for up to two days.

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