chocolate spiced pudding

There is the occasion when we don't finish our gallon jar of goat milk each week.  i first created this pudding with old goat milk that had a strong flavor and was no longer good when added to our coffee.  i had searched through all my cookbooks for an indian style rice pudding, with no luck.  i arrived at this recipe instead, a combination of ideas from the chapter "Desserts, Pastries and Sweetmeats," from A New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking.  it is richly spiced (at first to mask the heavy goat flavor), chocolate-y and only bittersweet.  its not as thick as a gelatin based pudding, but it stays on the spoon and has an enjoyable homemade smoothness.  perfect after a hearty dinner or as a late afternoon treat with a cup of strong coffee.  i've since made it with fresh jersey milk and a combination of goat and cow.  each time it is delicious, and comes out perfect.  its simple enough, just don't burn it!

5 cups milk2 cinnamon sticks10 cardamon pods8 cloves1/3-1/2 cup rapadura sugar6 Tbl rice flour4 Tbl raw cacao1 tsp vanillaPour 1/2 cup of milk into a small bowl.  add the rice flour, cacao and vanilla whisking well to incorporate (no clumps).  set aside.In a large sauce pan the the remaining 4 1/2 cups of milk, cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods and cloves.  optionally, you can create a small slit lengthwise in each of the cardamon pods with a sharp knife to more deeply infuse the pudding.  gradually bring the milk to a boil, stirring consistently.  at the boil, add the bowl of chocolate and rice flour milk, whisk well to incorporate. turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to simmering for 15-20 minutes.  keep your stirring constant to avoid burning the bottom of the pan; i use a silicon heat proof spatula.  the pudding will continue to thicken.With a spoon, carefully taste the hot pudding, if the spiced flavor is a good strength for you, remove the herbs, otherwise, leave them in till the end.  continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, add the sugar, stirring without relief.  at this point the pudding will be thicker than cake batter.  turn off the heat, remove cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods and cloves if you haven't already.  let cool 10 minutes before pouring into ramekins, 1/2 pint mason jars or a bowl.  refrigerate and chill completely before serving.  for a fancy effect, sprinkle 5-10 chocolate chips on each pudding filled ramekin.  enjoy!