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Valentine's Day Tiramisu Pudding Recipe

chocolate pudding with whipped cream in glass
chocolate pudding with whipped cream in glass - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

A few things are widely considered hallmarks of a great Valentine's Day. Maybe it's a fancy meal at a gourmet restaurant, or a romantic night on the town. Maybe you're the type to prefer a cozy night in with a funny movie. In either case, who wouldn't want to cap the night off with a rich, dark chocolate dessert like this tiramisu-inspired pudding? Introducing a grown-up version of the chocolate pudding you remember eating as a kid. More of a French-style pudding, this dessert is more smooth and creamy than gloopy or jiggly. Topped off with a fluffy cloud of mascarpone whipped cream, this dessert is rich, smooth, and luxurious — just like any good Valentine's Day dessert should be.

Developed by Taylor Murray, this recipe is great no matter what your plans for the big day are, because you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator until you're ready to eat. Plus, the mascarpone helps stabilize the whipped cream on top so it won't fall or weep overnight. Finish it off with a dust of cocoa powder, and you have the perfect dessert.

Read more: 25 Chocolate Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Gather The Ingredients For Valentine's Day Tiramisu Pudding

Ingredients for tiramisu chocolate pudding
Ingredients for tiramisu chocolate pudding - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

The base pudding for this delicious dessert is a rich, dark chocolate concoction that's made without cornstarch for a denser, richer consistency. It starts with a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream and 2 kinds of chocolate: cocoa powder and 72% cacao dark chocolate chips. If you prefer your chocolate on the less-dark side, you can substitute the chocolate chips for milk or semi-sweet chocolate. This mixture is flavored with vanilla and a pinch of salt and thickened with 2 egg yolks.

The garnish for the pudding is heavy cream that's whipped with mascarpone and flavored with a hint of instant espresso, which gives this dessert its tiramisu-inspired flavors. This whipped cream isn't sweetened, but those with a sweet tooth can add a tablespoon or 2 of sugar, if desired.

Step 1: Combine The Dry Pudding Ingredients

Pot with cocoa and sugar
Pot with cocoa and sugar - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

In a medium saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.

Step 2: Add Milk And Cream, And Simmer

Pot with cocoa and cream with whisk
Pot with cocoa and cream with whisk - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Slowly pour in milk and 1 cup cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Step 3: Melt In The Chocolate

Hand adding chocolate to pot of pudding
Hand adding chocolate to pot of pudding - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Add chocolate and stir until fully melted.

Step 4: Finish The Pudding

Adding yolks to saucepan of chocolate pudding with whisk
Adding yolks to saucepan of chocolate pudding with whisk - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Add egg yolks and vanilla, cook for 1 more minute, and turn off the heat.

Step 5: Transfer The Pudding

chocolate pudding in tall plastic container
chocolate pudding in tall plastic container - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Transfer pudding to a tall container for easy pouring.

Step 6: Pour It Into Serving Vessels

Hot pudding poured into glasses
Hot pudding poured into glasses - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Divide pudding among 4 coupe glasses or shallow bowls and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.

Step 7: Whip The Mascarpone

Mascarpone and espresso by mixer
Mascarpone and espresso by mixer - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Meanwhile, add mascarpone to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until smooth.

Step 8: Add Instant Espresso

Adding espresso to mixer
Adding espresso to mixer - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Add instant espresso and mix on slow speed until dissolved.

Step 9: Add Cream

Espresso mascarpone whipped cream
Espresso mascarpone whipped cream - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Slowly add remaining 1 cup cream and whisk until stiff peaks form.

Step 9: Garnish Pudding With Whipped Cream

spoon adding whipped cream on pudding
spoon adding whipped cream on pudding - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Once set, dollop ¼ cup mascarpone whipped cream on top of each pudding.

Step 10: Dust With Cocoa, And Serve

Chocolate pudding dusted with cocoa and topped with whipped cream
Chocolate pudding dusted with cocoa and topped with whipped cream - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Dust with cocoa powder, if desired, and serve.

Can I Use Different Types Of Milk And Chocolate In Tiramisu Pudding?

Cup of dark chocolate pudding with whipped cream
Cup of dark chocolate pudding with whipped cream - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

You can absolutely personalize this recipe by using different types of milk and chocolate, but it's important to understand how these changes might alter the final product. If you opt for a lower fat milk, such as skim or 2%, the pudding may be less creamy and rich. Plant-based milks like almond or oat milk are viable substitutes for those seeking a dairy-free option, though they will impart their unique flavors and potentially result in a thinner texture.

As for the chocolate, using a lower cacao percentage will yield a more sugary, less intense chocolate flavor. Milk chocolate, for instance, will make the dessert sweeter and creamier, but it will lack the depth of flavor that 72% cacao chocolate provides. Conversely, using a chocolate with a higher cacao content will intensify the bitterness and richness. The beauty of this recipe lies in its flexibility, allowing you to tailor it to your taste preferences or dietary needs.

What Meal Pairs Well With Valentine's Day Tiramisu Pudding?

Chocolate pudding with bite out
Chocolate pudding with bite out - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Need help completing your Valentine's Day menu? No problem. One option is grilled steak accompanied by roasted vegetables like asparagus or Brussels sprouts. The robust flavors of the steak complement the creamy indulgence of the chocolate pudding. Alternatively, a seafood pasta with a zesty lemon-garlic sauce offers a lighter prelude to the rich dessert, with its brightness and acidity forming a delightful contrast. Another classic pairing is roasted chicken seasoned with herbs like rosemary, served with root vegetables. This comforting meal sets the stage beautifully for the creamy chocolate finale.

For vegetarians, a hearty ratatouille, bursting with flavors from zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes, provides a vegetable-centric balance to the dessert's richness. Pork tenderloin with a balsamic reduction offers a mildly flavored yet elegant option, where the tangy reduction echoes the dessert's sweetness. Lastly, a creamy mushroom risotto, rich and earthy, contrasts exquisitely with the smooth, sweet pudding. Each of these meals, in its own way, prepares the palate for the luxurious chocolate pudding, ensuring a harmonious and satisfying dining experience.

Valentine's Day Tiramisu Pudding Recipe

Chocolate pudding in glasses with roses
Chocolate pudding in glasses with roses - Taylor Murray/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 2h 5mCook Time: 10mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, plus more for serving

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided

  • 6 ounces 72% cacao dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 6 ounces mascarpone

  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.

  2. Slowly pour in milk and 1 cup cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

  3. Add chocolate and stir until fully melted.

  4. Add egg yolks and vanilla, cook for 1 more minute, and turn off the heat.

  5. Transfer pudding to a tall container for easy pouring.

  6. Divide pudding among 4 coupe glasses or shallow bowls and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.

  7. Meanwhile, add mascarpone to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat until smooth.

  8. Add instant espresso and mix on slow speed until dissolved.

  9. Slowly add remaining 1 cup cream and whisk until stiff peaks form.

  10. Once set, dollop ¼ cup mascarpone whipped cream on top of each pudding.

  11. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired, and serve.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.