Making dessert without refined sugar isn’t all that difficult if you unlock the grip sugar has on your taste buds. Pry those sugary fingers from around your neck, and breathe freely. New levels and types of sweetness await, including deep, rich, luscious, sweet chocolates.
Mind you, chocolate desserts flavored with pure cane sugar taste great, but that’s mostly because we’re all used to the super-sweet flavor of refined sugar. Start experimenting with other sweeteners, and your taste buds will adjust in time.
My motto is moderation in all things. I mix and match sweeteners, both natural (maple syrup, honey, date paste, fruit purees) and non-nutritive (stevia, xylitol, erythritol, vegetable glycerin). When I find a new “natural” sweetener (like allulose), I research it first before purchasing it.
I used to hate the flavor of stevia, but I’ve grown to like it. Monkfruit has a nice sweet flavor, but it’s extremely expensive. Xylitol tastes OK, but only in small amounts. Erythritol can taste like garlic if you mix it with the wrong ingredients.
To sweeten this chocolate pudding I use erythritol/monkfruit, stevia and maple syrup. It’s dark and somewhat sweet. I like it that way, but I’m used to less-sweet desserts. If I wanted a milkier, sweeter pudding, I’d add more stevia and maple syrup.
You can make chocolate pudding out of cocoa powder and non-dairy milk, plus sweeteners, but it’s not as rich as this pudding, which contains four egg yolks. I use organic eggs I buy directly from the farmer at my local farmer’s market.
If I could do it all over again, I would have fed my children desserts like this pudding when they were growing up. Instead, I fed them sugar-sweetened desserts. Now, it’s a challenge to change my family’s taste for sweet foods, but this pudding is a good start. Try it a few times, and see for yourself.
Diary-Free Mocha Pudding
There's no refined sugar in this rich, dairy-free mocha pudding that's sweetened with maple syrup, stevia and erythritol.
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup xylitol or erythritol/monkfruit
- ¼ cup starch (arrowroot, potato, corn or tapioca)
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee or 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 3 cups non-dairy milk (I use oat or almond milk)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (2 teaspoons if using unsweetened chocolate chips)
- 4 egg yolks
- Pinch sea salt
- 4 ounces unsweetened or stevia-sweetened chocolate chips (I use Lily’s baking chips)
Heat 2 ½ cups non-dairy milk in a sauce pan over medium heat until it simmers.
While the non-dairy milk is heating, whisk together the cocoa, sweetener, starch, and coffee or espresso powder in a medium bowl.
Whisk the remaining ½ cup non-dairy milk, vanilla and stevia into the cocoa mixture.
Whisk in the egg yolks.
When the non-dairy milk reaches a low simmer, slowly whisk it into the cocoa-egg mixture.
Put the pudding back into the pan, and whisk it over medium heat for 5 minutes, until it thickens.
Remove from heat, and stir in the chocolate chips until they are melted and thoroughly blended.
Pour the pudding into a bowl or individual cups.
Press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
Place pudding in the fridge until ready to serve, 2-4 hours or more.
Serve garnished with sprigs of fresh mint and non-dairy whipped cream.