1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
Chocolate shavings and sweetened whipped cream, for serving
4 to 6 small ramekins or dessert cups
Bring 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the sugar and cocoa to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of milk with the cornstarch, vanilla, egg yolks, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture.
Return the milk-egg mixture to the saucepan and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue whisking until thick, about 2 or 3 minutes more.
Divide the pudding among 4 to 6 small ramekins or dessert cups. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Serve each pudding with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings.
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