Classic Chocolate Pudding

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp Dutch cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
2 tsp vanilla

In a large saucepan stir together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt.
Gradually stir in milk and add chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until chocolate is melted and mixture thickens and bubbles. Continue to cook for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes until butter melts, then stir gently to combine.
Ladle pudding into individual serving dishes. Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap or waxed paper, if desired, and chill at least 3 hours.

Makes 6 servings

Mocha Pudding: Stir 1 tablespoon of instant espresso powder or 2 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals into sugar mixture before adding milk