Cacao Nib Mexican Chocolate Pudding

This Cacao Nib Mexican Chocolate Pudding is easy and tastes so much better than store bought pudding. It has a great kick to it with cacao nibs, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper – one way to spice up Valentine’s Day and impress your better half.

Cacao Nib Mexican Chocolate Pudding | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
When I first saw the word cacao, I assumed someone had made a typo and swapped the a’s and o’s, meaning to say cocoa instead. Cocoa powder is actually cacao roasted at high temperatures. Supposedly, cacao powder has more fiber and calories than cocoa powder because the nutrients from the whole bean are still intact.
Cacao Nib Mexican Chocolate Pudding | Obsessive Cooking Disorder

Cacao nibs have a chocolatey taste, but they’re definitely much less sweet. The nibs contain theobromine, the bitter alkaloid part of the plant. This is found in tea and the component is similar to coffee. Theobromine means “food (broma) of the gods (theo)”, which is a pretty apt description for chocolate, tea, and coffee. (source).

Cacao Nib Mexican Chocolate Pudding | Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Cacao’s impact on cognitive function, blood pressure, heart health, and mood has been published in Circulation, the New England Journal of MedicineJAMA Internal MedicineNature.
For my non-scientist/doctor readers, those journals are super prestigious – if you publish here, it’s a huge career win. So clearly chocolate is important to us (and I’d happily volunteer to be a subject in their studies).
B feels like eating cacao nibs is like eating chocolate dirt, and the bitterness is somewhat of an acquired taste. If you love dark chocolate over sugary chocolates, then you’ll enjoy cacao’s flavors. I do eat occasionally cacao nibs straight up, but prefer to eat cacao as a topping, especially with chocolate items since the flavors go excellently. 

Cacao Nib Mexican Chocolate Pudding

3 large egg yolks, beaten
1 cup Dutch cocoa powder
3/5 cup sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cacao nibs

In a medium bowl, beat your egg yolks and set aside.

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, combine the cocoa, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and 2 cups of the milk. Stir constantly as it boils and thickens, about 8-10 min to avoid lumps. Reduce the heat to low.

Pour some of the hot mixture into another bowl with your egg yolks, then stir the egg yolks back into the hot mixture to temper it (slowly cook it without scrambling). Stir constantly until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding. Add the remaining 1-2 cups of milk to reach your desired thickness. Mix in the cinnamon, cayenne pepper and vanilla extract. Remove from the heat.

Place plastic wrap over the saucepan to prevent a skin from forming, and then cool (I chilled mine in the fridge overnight). To serve, spoon into ramekins and top with cacao nibs. Enjoy!

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  1. i had the same initial thought, and stubbornly refused to believe i was wrong for quite some time! what a great addition to your puddings. 🙂