When I was little, my mom would sometimes make chocolate pudding. She may have used a mix, but back then "mixes" saved you about 60% of the measuring, but only about 10% of the work.
You still had to stir the mix into the milk to dissolve it, and then stand stirring and stirring over a hopefully low enough heat to keep it from burning. You'd almost certainly still end up with a few lumps. And, it still required a certain amount of skill and intuition to know when the pudding was done.
You'd pour the pudding into dessert bowls, and a skin would form over the top as it cooled. Sometimes people would put wax paper over the top of the pudding to keep the skin from forming -- a real travesty, because the coolest part (at least for a kid) was eating that weird stretchy chocolatey skin.
You'd almost never let it cool all the way because the kids were just too eager to eat the pudding.
The kids would fight over who got to lick the spoon and who got to glean the pudding stuck to the pan. A smart mom would never, ever use a rubber spatula to get all the pudding out of the pan, because then a real fight would ensue.
Now, pudding is made by Jello and comes in little pre-measured cups. You can get normal, fat-free, and sugar-free.
But, you can't get dairy-free, G-free, white sugar - free, and chemical sweetener-free.
So, last night I made pudding.
And, only an uber foodie chef wannabe would be foolhardy enough to call it easy. But, it was good. Very reminiscent of the stuff Mom used to make, except almond milk doesn't form that cool stretchy skin.
1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T potato starch
1/4 C raw cane sugar
2 C almond milk
Splash of vanilla
About 12 drops liquid stevia
Mix all the dry stuff in a pan with a wire whisk. Then add the wet stuff (except the stevia) and whisk until you're deluded into thinking everything's all blended and smooth.
Heat it all over a very low fire, and stir with a wire whisk until you start worrying about the whisk not reaching the edges of the bottom of the pan. Stir with a silicon spatula until you start worrying about the spatula not getting the center bottom of the pan. Switch to a steel spoon.
Keep stirring, periodically switching your stirring tool, until your arms fall off and the husband (or kiddies) smell the chocolate and start asking if it's done yet.
Stir some more, until it starts burbling like molten lava. Cook and stir just a bit more. Then stir in the stevia.
Let it cool long enough to keep it from melting your plastic containers. Or, use glass.
Reserve the spoon, pan, and other stirring implements for yourself, for he who stirreth not, licketh not.
Makes 4 1/2 cup servings.