If I make cupcakes for dessert the family is excited--because hey, it's cupcakes and who doesn't like cupcakes? BUT . . . if I make pudding--even the instant out-of-the-box Jello variety--they are thrilled, impressed and wowed. I'm not sure what it is about having a dessert in an individual serving dish that makes it so appealing but something about pudding is wonderful and magical.
A secret? I never use instant pudding, but if you use the sugar-free cook-and-serve Jello pudding it tastes terrific, especially still slightly warm. But I digress.
This dessert is nearly as easy as the cook-and-serve cheater stuff I normally serve but I'm such a fan of hazelnut that I knew I had to try this recipe the moment I saw it, regardless of the effort it might require. The hazelnut syrup that it calls for? Well I use the bottles they sell at Walmart for espresso and coffee for about $4.75 a bottle which I always have on hand because I love a shot of sugar-free hazelnut syrup in my sugar-free hot chocolate. It's one of my favorite low-cal treats when I'm watching the calories. Oh and one last note: do not panic when you add the chocolate and it appears to curdle. I thought I'd done something wrong when I saw that (Yuck! Curdled pudding!) but it stirs away just fine.
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups low-fat milk
¼ cup sugar-free hazelnut syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups fat-free topping
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts
Combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt and eggs and stir well to combine.
Heat the milk over a medium-high heat in a small saucepan until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges but do not boil the milk. Gradually add the holt milk to the sugar mixture, stirring well with a whisk. Place the milk mixture in a pan and cook over medium heat until very thick and bubbly, about five minutes, stirring constantly. Spoon the mixture into a medium bowl and add the syrup, vanilla and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts. It may look curdled but stir it until the clumps disappear.
Place the bowl in a large ice-filled bowl to cool it, covered with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface. Remove it from the ice and gently fold in the whipped topping. Spoon the mousse into six glasses and chill for an hour or more. Top with extra whipped topping and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts if you’d like.
Technorati tags: hazelnut, chocolate, mousse, desserts