We had guests in town this weekend and it was a lot of fun. I asked Pooja to give me three ingredients that she liked so I could make her a dessert. She thought about it for a little bit and then decided on Chocolate and mint. I pondered for a bit on what to make as I did not want to make anything that involved baking, and I wanted to make something that was light but a little bit decadent. I did not want to incorporate the mint and chocolate as one dessert. This was to give anyone the option who did not want mint to have a mint free dessert. As it turns out we had one person who was not a fan of the combination so I used just whipped cream and sugar and topped it with chocolate chips. I was initially going to use peppermint extract to do the minty portion but then when I saw the mint Oreo cookies at Publix I decided to incorporate that into the dessert and leave out the extract.
The chocolate pudding is very simple to make, the only challenge if you want to call it a challenge is the amount of time to cook the pudding to get it to the right consistency. The best test method is dip a spoon into the mixture, let it cool for just a bit and then run your finger across the back of the spoon, if the pudding flows back to cover the line then the mixture is not thick enough. Just remember that even if it is less thick when you are cooking it, it will thicken a little more as it cools and then when it is refrigerated. I added a little brandy to the pudding mixture right after all the chocolate had melted. It is totally optional and you can most certainly leave it out if you want to have and alcohol free dessert. The chocolate pudding is also not sweet since it has a low amount of sugar and it also has a fair amount of coffee.
I tried to add an alcohol flavoring to the cream topping – rum, brandy and baileys but they did not go really well with the mint cookies so the cream topping was alcohol free. If you do want the topping to look green you can always add food coloring but I liked the green against the white. The Oreo cookies also resulted in a nice burst of flavor every time you got to bite the tiny chunks of cookies with mint.
The dessert on the whole was really light and was really relished by everybody.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant Nescafe (or an instant coffee of your choice)
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces milk chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons brandy (optional)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 12 Oreo cookies
Put the first four ingredients into a pot. Add the milk and cream, whisking to incorporate. Put it on the stove on medium high heat. Stir or whisk slowly. You will see after about 30 seconds that the mixture beginning to incorporate and the milk begins to get a lovely chocolatey brown color. The mixture will start to thicken at around the 1 minute mark. This will actually depend on how high your heat has been set. The best way to test if your pudding is thick enough is to dip a clean spoon into the mixture and then let it cool for just a bit and run your finger across the back of the spoon. If you get a clear line that stays then your pudding is ready. If not keep stirring/whisking until you get to the right consistency. Once it is at the right consistency turn off the heat. Add the chocolate chips and the vanilla extract and stir until the chocolate chips have melted and you have a smooth mixture. Add the brandy at this time if you are using it and stir to incorporate. Transfer the pudding to a wider glass dish. Put a clear plastic wrap on top of the pudding so it does not get a skin and set it aside to cool.
Once the pudding is cool start making the topping. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to beat. Once the sugar is added keep beating for about 20-30 seconds more to make sure it is incorporated and your cream is fairly thick.
Put the Oreo cookies into a plastic bag and coarsely crush them. Fold the crushed cookies into the cream.
Layer the pudding, top with the Oreo cookie cream and then add a cracked Oreo cookie on the top for decoration. Refrigerate for about an hour before you serve it.