Grown-up pudding

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Chocolate pudding

Shoo-Fly chocolate pudding. (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune / January 29, 2014)

Chocolate pudding is the sort of lunchbox snack that fails to wow. It's cute and sweet. Not, say, engrossing. Kids like its wiggle. Adults like its milk content. Faint praise.

Recently I was at a diner, the sort that serves throwbacks like fried chicken and meatloaf, done up with handcrafted, farm-raised care.

I ordered the pudding. I'm not sure why. I'm not one for milk, or wiggle. I like a dessert heavily focused on chocolate.

The pudding looked like a winter pond, quiet under a blanket of whipped cream snow. I dipped in a spoon and came up with thick and creamy thoughts. Not wiggly. Not milky. Heavily focused on chocolate.

This grown-up pudding wasn't meant for lunchbox or snack pack. It was sweet-and-savvy enough for Valentine's Day, when the menu is meant not to evoke like. But love.

Shoo-Fly chocolate pudding

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Cool: 2 hours

Serves: 8

Pastry chef Sarah Conezio says the success of this pudding is in the ingredients: good milk, good eggs and good chocolate. She relies on Mast Brothers' "Brooklyn Blend."

8 ounces dark (70 percent) chocolate, chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut up

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

5 egg yolks

3 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

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