I love to use up leftovers. And I always have chocolate around in various forms – chips, blocks, and cocoa powder, semisweet, bittersweet, and unsweetened, not to mention the odd bar of milk and white chocolate. So when I spied a few bananas on the counter just past their eating prime, I knew that a banana and chocolate combination was the order of the day. I could have gone for my usual – banana bread with chocolate chips. It is easy to make and great for dessert or breakfast. But I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so back to the drawing board I went.
My 3 criteria were: 1) the recipe had to use banana and chocolate; 2) it could not involve baking or using the stove; and 3) it had to be easy. Although I claim not to watch silly chef contest shows, I admit that I’ve seen and enjoyed a few episodes of The Taste. With specified ingredients and a clock running, several chefs compete to win the approval of Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain, and other celebrity judges. For me, it’s not the competition aspect that keeps me watching, but the scenes of the cooks as they concoct their dishes. This self-imposed challenge began to feel like a 1-person version of that show, with me as contestant and judge. Rather bizarre, but fun.
What about a banana chocolate pudding? Earlier in the week, I had seen a recipe for chocolate mousse with avocado. As strange sounding as that combination is, the basic idea was appealing. Using a fruit or vegetable to substitute for eggs and/or whipping cream in a mousse or pudding seemed like a path worth pursuing.
Inspired by that avocado-based mousse recipe, I set to work. The result is simple and quick, satisfying and not fussy. If you have the ingredients on-hand, other than the time the finished pudding spends in the refrigerator chilling (while you do something else), this recipe takes only minutes to prepare.
Super Simple Banana Chocolate Pudding
Servings – two 5 ounce single servings Cost – $1
- ⅓ cup (heaping) of good quality bittersweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup of mashed banana (about 7” of a banana or 1 small one.) The banana should be at least slightly overripe.
- 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of milk (I used nonfat)
- A pinch of kosher salt
- Mini food processor (A powerful blender or a hand held mixer will also work.)
- 2 bowls
- Pitcher or container for milk (optional)
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Mash the banana and put it in the mini food processor. There is no need to get obsessive; the banana will be smoothed out later, when mixed with other ingredients.
- Add the milk, brown sugar, and pinch of salt. Process the mixture until it is smooth.
- Heat the chocolate. I microwaved it, for 2 ½ minutes on 40% power, stirring several times during the melting process. Remember that it’s better to microwave the chocolate for longer on a lower setting than to begin with a high setting and burn it. Keep in mind that timing and power level may vary if your microwave is more – or less – powerful than mine. Althernatively (if you do not have a microwave), you can melt the chocolate in a double-boiler.
- Add the chocolate to the mixture in the food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate it.
- Pour the mixture into 2 small ramekins or cups and chill them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
I call this a pudding rather than a mousse because its consistency is not as thick as the typical mousse. It is light, but definitely rich.