Chocolate Dinner

A few months ago, my foodie friends and I got together for a chocolate dinner.  Every course contained chocolate as an ingredient.  This was no small challenge for my friend in charge of appetizers (white chocolate baba ganoush, a success). There were cocoa rubbed ribs, enchiladas with mole, chocolate barbecue sauce, and whoopie pies and boozy chocolate milkshakes for dessert.  I had pulled this chocolate recipe as a backup, but left it aside until just recently.

Husband has been having terrible issues with tinnitus– not just ringing, but a sudden morph into constant pain and distortion of sound.  He recently read that acupuncture can relieve it, so he made an appointment with our chiropractor, who is a mad genius with acupuncture and very into nutrition.  Imagine my shock when Husband came home completely on the bandwagon to jump into a 3-6 week dairy, gluten, and relatively sugar-free detox (which I did about 15 months ago).  The attempt is to get the histamine levels in his body to a baseline, so if he is reacting to common histamines in his diet, the symptoms are much less pronounced. He refers to the list of anti-inflamatory foods daily, we’ve stocked our fridge full of all kinds of fruit, and we’re eating fish 2-3 times a week.  I immediately made a giant pot of spicy lentils, started scouring the cookbook for fun fish recipes, and even made a tofu ricotta “cheese” for a veggie lasagna last night (it honestly wasn’t bad!).

He immediately dropped the dairy and processed sugar (losing 3 pounds the first week, despite a small amount of cheating), and has been really trying to avoid gluten (pretty difficult for a man who has eaten cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch for about the last 20 years).  We picked up soy milk over the weekend, and I made this pudding yesterday to try to help alleviate the treat withdrawal.  He clipped it himself from Parade Magazine, January 3, 2016.  I think it was a recipe featured on The Biggest Loser.

Cheryl’s Craveable Chocolate Pudding





  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk or regular milk
  • ⅓ cup agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp finely chopped toasted pistachios (optional)


  1. Combine cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in a little milk to make a smooth paste.
  2. Gradually stir in remaining milk and agave nectar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute or until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into 4 (½-cup) ramekins; cool. Garnish with nuts, if desired.
CALORIES 150; FAT 3 g (2 g sat); PROTEIN 1 g; CARB 33 g; FIBER 3 g; CHOL 0 mg; SODIUM 330 mg

Since I know corn is a common allergen and is sugary despite its whole-grain status, I swapped the cornstarch for tapioca flour (I looked up appropriate swaps, and because they are about the same weight/lightness in texture, it was deemed acceptable).

I used our soy milk, which is vanilla flavored.  Everything else was the same.  I ran the powders through a food mill so I didn’t have to deal with lumps– I wasn’t about to serve clumpy pudding.  I whisked and whisked, and my mixture became delightfully thick, but it never boiled, so I just kept waiting and whisking.  Unfortunately, the pudding took on the texture of homemade silly putty– gorgeously glossy, but a little rubbery.  It had a deep chocolatey flavor and was decently sweet, but it was oddly gelatinized.


Verdict:  I will try making this again and take it off the heat when it is thickened but still pourable.  If I have the same problem, I may try the cornstarch instead of the tapioca flour and see if the substitution was the problem  instead of the cooking time.  Even though the pudding was a little weird, it still tasted good, so it’s worth another attempt.  Since we bought the soy milk at Costco, there’s plenty more to use in the test kitchen!




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