Chocolate Pudding is thick, creamy, and everything you want a pudding to be! Powdered gelatin makes the pudding super smooth and maple syrup adds a nice sweetness. I love adding a dollop of coconut whipped cream, a dusting of cacao powder, and a sprinkle of cacao nibs for a tasty dessert!
While I don't love the word "superfood" many would categorize cacao as one. A superfood is a food that contains a high amount of nutrients. When I talk about cacao, I typically get a response, "well, aren't cacao and chocolate the same thing?" The short answer is no. Chocolate has additional ingredients added to it such as sugar and sometimes milk solids and lecithin while cacao is still in it's raw state with no added ingredients. As a result, cacao holds its nutritional value.
What are the health benefits of cacao?
- Very high in magnesium
- Good source of iron
- Contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant
- Good source of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant
- Can help with mood changes such as depression
A couple notes about cacao powder vs. cocoa powder:
Yes! The only thing to look out for is if a recipe asks you to use a particular brand of cocoa powder. In this case, some cocoa powder has added sugar or oils to it and the recipe developer may be taking into account the sugar and/or oil that the cocoa powder contains. If that's the case, you may need to play around with the recipe slightly. If the cocoa powder does not contain sugar or other added ingredients, you are all set to use cacao in it's place.
Cacao and cocoa powder come from the same plant and are essentially the same product up to a certain point in the processing. A 'cake' is what remains after cocoa butter is extracted from the chocolate liquor or the cocoa mass. This cake is then finely ground and is called cacao. From there, cacao powder is then roasted (to a temperature around 250 F) and treated with an alkali, typically potassium carbonate. The final product is cocoa powder. Cacao has not been treated with an alkali therefore it does have a slight acidic taste compared to cocoa powder.
In summary, cacao powder has not been treated and cocoa powder is treated with both heat and an alkalizing agent. Since cacao has not been treated or heated, it preserves the nutritional benefits of the cacao plant.
I do want to note that the taste difference is very subtle. I personally prefer the taste of cacao to cocoa powder. It tastes richer to me. But when using them in recipes, you won't notice that much of a difference.
I recommend using Navita's Organic cacao powder for this recipe. All of their products are certified organic and are so yummy!
If you're looking for a vegan chocolate pudding, try my Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding!
- 1 ¼ cup nut milk I used unsweetened cashew milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp cold water
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Place the cold water in a glass or metal dish and sprinkle the powdered gelatin on top. Mix until all the clumps are remove. Set aside and allow to bloom for a minimum of five minutes
- Meanwhile, combine the nut milk, maple syrup, cacao powder (or cocoa powder), and salt in a sauce pot and bring to a simmer on the stove
- Once the gelatin is bloomed (it should bounce back when lightly touched with a finger and be an off white color), scoop it out of the dish and place in the chocolate mixture on the stove
- Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, about a minute or two. Once dissolved, turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract
- Pour the pudding mixture into a glass container, cover with a lid and place in the refridgerator for a minimum of 8 hours. Preferrably overnight. The pudding with firm up as it rests in the refridgerator
- Before serving, remove the pudding from the refrdigerator and stir with a whisk. The pudding will appear to be lumpy, but as you whisk, it will become very creamy and smooth. Once all the lumps are removed, it is ready to be served
- Serve with coconut whipped cream, a dusting of cacao powder, or a couple of cacao nibs. Enjoy!