Place chopped chocolate into a large, heatproof bowl. Set a fine-mesh sieve over the bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cocoa powder until no lumps remain. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar and salt. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture until evenly combined. Add 1 cup (250 ml) of the canned coconut milk (see Chef’s Tips), whisking until a smooth, lump-free paste forms. Slowly whisk in the remaining coconut milk.
Place saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly but gently to prevent lumps from forming, until it just begins to simmer. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the pan, if necessary. Continue whisking and cooking for 3 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Immediately, remove from heat and pour the hot mixture through the sieve and into the bowl of chopped chocolate, using the heatproof spatula to gently press the pudding through. Discard any lumps.
Cover bowl with a lid or large plate. Let sit for 2 minutes.
Uncover and whisk until the chocolate melts and pudding is smooth (see Chef’s Tips). Whisk in the pure vanilla extract.
Transfer the pudding to a large serving bowl or into individual dishes or glasses. To prevent skins from forming on the tops, place a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper directly onto the surface of the pudding. Store in the refrigerator and chill completely; 2 to 3 hours for individual servings or 6 hours for a large bowl.
Serve with berries, cacao nibs, or coconut flakes.
*Shake and/or thoroughly stir the canned coconut milk before using as the fatty solids tend to separate from the coconut water. This will also ensure that the milk is lump-free.
*Any creamy plant-based milk (soy, oat, cashew, macadamia, almond) can be substituted for the canned coconut milk’; note that if using nut or soy milk, the recipe is no longer nut or soy-free. Alternatively, if dairy products are not an issue, whole milk can successfully be substituted for the canned coconut milk; note that by doing so, the pudding is no longer vegan.
*Simmering the pudding mixture for too long or whisking it too vigorously may break down the gelatinization properties of the cornstarch when heated, resulting in a thin or liquidy pudding. Ensure that once the mixture comes to a simmer, simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the heat. If the mixture hasn’t thickened after that time, lower the temperature to medium-low and cook, whisking gently, until it coats the back of a spoon; do not let it return to a simmer.
*If chocolate is not fully melted after the pudding is whisked in, place bowl over a pot of just simmering water. Stir until chocolate is melted.
*Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar or Redpath® Demerara Style Sugar can be used in place of the Redpath® Dark Brown Sugar. Note that using Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar will yield a pudding that has less pronounced caramel notes and that using Redpath® Demerara Style Sugar will produce a pudding with more robust caramel flavour and earthy undertones.