This pressure cooker bittersweet chocolate pudding, made with cream, milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate, is intensely rich and fudgy in the best possible way. Need we say more?
You’ve been reluctant to use that pressure cooker long enough. It’s time. And here’s the recipe to overcome all your hesitations. Yes, a pressure cooker (or Instant Pot) dessert. This pressure cooker bittersweet chocolate pudding is a no-fuss, make-ahead marvel that’s as ideal for entertaining as it is impromptu Thursday night cravings. As for exactly how to describe the pudding, it’s fudgy in the best possible way, and, as one of our testers pondered, it’s a little too firm to be a traditional pudding, not quite velvety enough to be a pot de creme, and sorta resembles a no-bake chocolate cheesecake. But let’s not get mired down in semantics. And there’s no need to let on how quick and simple it is to make in your pressure cooker or Instant Pot. It won’t hurt anyone to let them think you fussed over them.–Jenny Howard
☞ Table of Contents
Pressure Cooker Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding
- Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot; six 4- to 6-ounce ramekins, custard cups, or espresso cups OR a 1-quart soufflé dish
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate preferably 60% to 65% cacao, chopped
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or coffee-flavored liqueur
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- Whipped cream for serving (optional)
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream and milk to a gentle simmer. Immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until it melts and is smooth.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, vanilla or liqueur, and salt. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup or bowl. (You can cover and refrigerate the pudding mixture for up to 2 days.)
- If making a single large chocolate pudding, pour the pudding mixture into a 1-quart soufflé dish and cover with aluminum foil. Insert a steamer rack into your pressure cooker or Instant Pot and add 1 1/2 cups water. (If you don’t have a steamer rack for your pressure cooker or Instant Pot, the dishes may be placed directly in the cooker with just enough water to barely reach halfway up the sides of the dishes.) Cook on low for 18 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the cups from the pressure cooker and uncover to let the steam to escape. Let the pudding cool to room temperature. If making individual chocolate puddings, divide the pudding mixture among six 4- to 6-ounce ramekins, espresso cups, or custard cups and cover each with aluminum foil. Insert a steamer rack into your pressure cooker or Instant Pot and add 1 1/2 cups water. Lower 3 ramekins or cups onto the rack. (If you don’t have a steamer rack for your pressure cooker or Instant Pot, the dishes may be placed directly in the cooker with just enough water to barely reach halfway up the sides of the dishes.) Cook on low for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes. Then release the remaining pressure manually. Using oven mitts, carefully remove the cups and uncover to let the steam to escape. Repeat with the remaining 3 cups. Let the puddings cool to room temperature.
- Cover each individual pudding or the entire soufflé dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 3 days.
- About 15 minutes prior to serving, remove the pudding(s) from the refrigerator and uncover. Dollop with whipped cream, if desired.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I was excited to try this recipe because I’ve never made a dessert in the Instant Pot. Of course, if you are an Instant Pot owner, you know that you must use a different inner sealing ring or your chocolate pudding will end up tasting like last night’s beef stew!
The recipe comes together very quickly and is super easy. I used 4-ounce ramekins and the recipe made exactly 6 servings. I used the steamer rack that came with the Instant Pot. I could only fit 3 ramekins in my pot so I decided to save the rest of the pudding mixture until the next day and make 3 more. There are stackable steamer racks available for the Instant Pot, but I do not have one. I followed the cooking, pressure release, cooling, and chilling times exactly. The puddings were definitely done after the recommended time.
My husband and I were happy when it was finally time for dessert! The chocolate taste was very luxurious. Our first impression was that although very tasty, the texture of the puddings was a bit dense. We were hoping for something a little creamier. Don’t get me wrong, we managed to eat 2 ramekins and had to show extreme restraint to not consume the other one.
We did top the second batch with whipped cream and a few fresh raspberries which was a VERY good idea.
This recipe gets high ratings for ease preparation and the fact that you can prepare the mixture up to 2 days ahead and keep it for up to 3 days after cooking. It would definitely be a great dessert for a dinner party as you wouldn’t have to be fussing with it at the last minute.
I could see adding some espresso powder or maybe a bit of Kahlua to the recipe.
There are a lot of tweaks that could be tried with the Instant Pot that might change the texture, such as high versus low pressure, shorter cooking time and longer natural release time, etc. I will definitely experiment with the recipe soon. But for now (and I can’t believe I am saying this!) I don’t think I can eat any more chocolate!
Whether you call these puddings or pots de crème, these were thicker and more solid than a traditional version of either, and were thick enough that they could have been sliced. They were nonetheless full of rich and creamy chocolate-y deliciousness.
I used 60% bittersweet chocolate and it was my opinion, as well as my taster’s, that a more bitter chocolate and/or a bit of coffee added in would have made this truly bittersweet. I made 6 small ramekins in a pressure cooker with one setting. There was not a setting specifically for low pressure, and in two batches.
Being as solid as these were, I think ice cream could be preferable to whipped cream as an optional topping.
Originally published January 20, 2019