We had big plans last night. I’d finally finished my work. I’d convinced J to go to a gallery down on the Gowanus — to see a film about bugs. (Really.) We were going to get some dinner and some drinks and make it a proper Friday night. But then it started raining — a cold, sneaky March rain. And we started walking, and our umbrella broke, and our feet got wet, and well, naturally we got cranky. So we splashed home. And decided all we really needed was pudding.

1 can evaporated milk
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons tapioca
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 vanilla bean

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. sugar
a chunk of dark chocolate

1. In a saucepan, heat the evaporated milk to a boil, then lower heat until it is just barely simmering. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, salt, milk, and tapioca together. Put aside. In a second small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, stirring and cooking for 3-4 minutes, or until the sugar melts into the butter and the mixture starts to aerate and froth.

2. Using care and working slowly (this will bubble up: watch out!) — slowly drizzle the evaporated milk into the sugar and butter mixture, stirring constantly. Then add the tapioca mixture and bring the contents to a boil. Scrape in the vanilla bean. Cook 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until the pudding thickens. Remove from heat. Divide pudding in 4 dishes, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.

3. In a large bowl, whip cream and sugar to soft peaks. Spoon generously over pudding bowls, and using a zester, grate a few bits of dark chocolate over top.


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