This is kid #2 after he snuck off outside with not 1, not 2, but 3 bowls of hot pudding. I caught him on the last one.
After making this, I'm not sure why anyone would opt for the boxed chemical instant pudding. Pudding is fun for kids...call it custard, serve it in a nice dish and it's appropriate for the finest of dinner parties.
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
4 teaspoons arrowroot starch
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup whipping cream (optional)
Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar, and the cocoa in a nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, arrowroot, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.
Pour the pudding into 6 small cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or ideally overnight until set.
Just before serving pour the cream into a chilled bowl. Whip the cream with a whisk or a hand held mixer, and continue beating until soft peaks form. Take care not to over-beat the cream or it will be grainy. Serve each pudding with a dollop of whipped cream on top.