By Erin Walgamuth
This recipe is for all of you chocolate lovers out there, which would include me! These delicious, velvety, elegant and easy desserts are yummy enough to serve to company. They are a cross between a French chocolate custard and chocolate pudding. If you don’t care for the taste of oranges, don’t add the zest. The same goes for the espresso, don’t add it if you don’t care for the taste.
The flavor will be at its best if made the day before you wish to serve them, but they are great the day of as well.
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Orange Espresso Chocolate Pudding
You can serve the desserts in ¾ cup ramekins, martini glasses, champagne classes or custard cups
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ cup 2% milk
6 oz dark chocolate chopped. About 12 pieces if you use Trader Joe’s *
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee such as Medaglia D’ Oro *
Zest of 1 large orange, finely chopped, about 1 tablespoon
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
*I really like the flavor of Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate from Belgium. It is $4.49 for a pound.
I use this chocolate for many of the desserts I make, its delicious and economical.
*Most grocery stores carry this instant espresso coffee
Put milk, espresso powder and orange zest in a heavy medium saucepan, whisk until espresso is incorporated, set aside. Chop chocolate, set aside. Zest orange, chop zest, set aside. Put egg yolks, sugar and salt in a bowl, set aside. Warm milk mixture; stir occasionally until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. While waiting for bubbles to appear, whisk egg yolks, sugar and salt until well blended. When bubbles appear in milk mixture, remove pan from heat and whisk a small amount of milk into the egg mixture to lighten it, then slowly whisk in the rest of the warm milk. Return the egg and milk mixture to the saucepan, place on stove. Warm on medium-low, stir with a wooden spoon until thickened and mixture leaves a trail when you run your finger down the back of the spoon. Remove from stove. Add chopped chocolate and vanilla, whisk until chocolate is melted and pudding is smooth.
Pour pudding into desired receptacles. Cool for about 20 minutes, then cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours, overnight is even better.
I hope you enjoy these delicious desserts as much as we do.
Erin Walgamuth  has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe  section.
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