Chocolate Pudding, New Mexico Style and the Museum of International Folk Art

A chocolate pudding seasoned with red chile powder, cinnamon and ginger @mjskitchen |


Before I get to the New Mexico Style Chocolate Pudding recipe, I want to share our visit to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  There were three exhibits that we wanted to see and all three exceeded our expectations.

[Jump to pudding recipe]

Amish Quilts Exhibit

The first exhibit we visited was a display of Amish Quilts.  Many of the quilts displayed were more than 100 years old and were still vibrant and richly beautiful.  The museum allows photography as long as you don’t use a flash; therefore, I’m able to share some of this lovely quilts with you.   Having been a quilter at one time in my life, I never tire of looking at quilts, old quilts, new quilts, contemporary quilts.  Knowing the amount of time and love that goes into making one, I’ve never found a quilt I didn’t like.  The artistry and craftsmanship in these 100 year old quilts blew me away.

This first quilt is one of my favorites – an Amish Flower Garden.  It’s from the 1890’s, Holmes County, Ohio.  One of the characteristics of Amish quilts from Ohio is the use of black material.  There were three quilts from Ohio on display and all had pieces of black material strategically placed to create a bold, yet elegant pattern.

Amish Quilt 1890 displayed at the Museum of International Folk Art 2013

Amish Flower Garden Quilt, Holmes County, Ohio 1890


Most of the other quilts were from Pennsylvania which isn’t surprising because of the mass emigration of Amish from Switzerland and Germany to Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries.  With a couple of exceptions, the Pennsylvania quilts were more like the Amish quilts that one commonly sees, like these Amish bars and the diamond in the square quilts below.

The Amish, like my grandmothers and great grandmothers, made quilts for utilitarian purposes, to keep you and your family members warm in the winter.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful sleeping under one of these quilts?


Amish Quilt 1890 displayed at the Museum of International Folk Art 2013

Amish Bars Quilt, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1890

Amish Diamond in Square Quilt, Pennsylvania 1925

Amish Diamond in Square Quilt, Pennsylvania 1925


The next quilt, the Chinese Lantern quilt, is quite different from the others. It’s pretty amazing to me because of all of those little pieces of material that the quilter had to assembly.  That took A LOT of time and patience!  I tried to find more information on how this quilting block (the Chinese Lantern) came to be in the Amish community, but was unsuccessful.


Amish Chinese Lantern Quilt, Pennsylvania 1925, displayed at Museum of International Folk Art, 2013

Amish Chinese Lantern Quilt, Pennsylvania, 1925


Japanese Kites Exhibit

The next exhibit was a Japanese Kit exhibit.  These kites were breathtaking! I can’t imagine anyone actually flying one. The kites in the exhibit ranged from a few inches in size to 25 feet (like the fish below).  However, these were small compared to some kits.  During the visit we watched a film of a yearly kite celebration in a small Japanese village and some of those kites were 75 feet wide and long!  People spend weeks designing and hand painting their kites only to have them destroyed in a kite battle.  The kite battle was wild!  The goal was to use your kite to strip as much rope from the other kites as possible.  Needless to say, by the end of the 5 day event, no kite was left flying and the team with the most rope won.

Here are a few kites for you to enjoy.

Japanese kites at the Museum of International Folk Art


Japanese kites at the Museum of International Folk Art


Japanese kites at the Museum of International Folk Art


New World Cuisine:  The Histories of Chocolate, Mate Y Más

The third exhibit we visited was New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate Y Más. In this exhibit we learned a lot about the history and exchange of foods between the Old World and the New World, as well as the importance of cacao and yerba mate’ in Central and South America. Unfortunately, we were so busy reading and enjoying the individual settings that were staged, we forgot to take pictures.  To see some of the items in this exhibit, you can click on this link of images. Here are just a few of the interesting things we learned:

  • The exchange of world cuisine began with the explorations of Christopher Columbus “when foods from the Old World were mixed with those of the new and brought improvements from farm to table.”
  • Foods that went from the New World to the Old World included maize (corn), cacao, potatoes, beans, squash, and chile peppers.
  • Foods that went from the Old World to the New World included meats, dairy, cheese, and a variety of new and exotic spices.
  • In reference to New Mexico – “The mixing of peoples and foods—the fusion of cultures and traditions referred to as mestizaje—began in August 1598. It was then that Juan de Oñate’s 500-strong expedition of soldiers, families, and Franciscan friars settled in New Mexico on the fertile and irrigated farmland of the Tewa Pueblos of Yungue and Okhay, located at the confluence of the Chama and Rio Grande Rivers.”
  • The original Caribbean word for a chile peppers is “aji”, and the Nahuatl spelling is “chilli”. When the Spanish immigrated into New Mexico they “converted the Nahuatl name, chilli, to chile. Today in New Mexico it is the Spanish spelling and pronunciation that is still common.” (For more information about the word “chile”, see Chile or Chili?)
  • This exhibit ends January 5, 2014; therefore, if you happen to be in Santa Fe between now and then, be sure to stop in and check it out.

As part of this exhibit, visitors were encouraged to exchange recipes.  One of the recipes that the exhibit was sharing with its visitors was Hot Chocolate – New Mexico Style.  It sounded quite delicious, so I took one of the recipe cards and came home with the intention of making it, but it’s just not cold enough yet for hot chocolate.  Therefore, I took the idea of the recipe and converted it to this Chocolate Pudding – New Mexico Style.  This recipe is an example of a blend of Old and New World ingredients.

If you’d like to share one of your recipes that represents a fusion of Old World and New World ingredients, visit the New World Cuisine Recipe Exchange on Facebook and share your recipe.


Chocolate Pudding – New Mexico Style
A chocolate pudding seasoned with red chile powder, cinnamon and ginger #pudding #chocolate @mjskitchen |

Chocolate Pudding Recipe - New Mexico Style

The concept of this pudding was inspired by my visit to the Folk Museum as well as the Hot Chocolate, New Mexico Style by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison.

"*" See Kitchen Notes for more information or links to special ingredients.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican, New Mexico
Yields: 4 servings
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ's Kitchen
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ginger*
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon*
  • ¾ tsp. medium Chimayo Red Chile Powder*
  • 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk*, whole or 2%
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Prepare four pudding cups and set aside, ready to use.
  2. In a heavy-duty sauce pan, whisk together the cornstarch, salt, ginger, cinnamon, chile powder, cocoa powder, and sugar. Break up any lumps from the spices and cocoa powder.
  3. Over a medium-low heat, slowly add half of the milk, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Once you have added half of the milk, use a spoon to scrape the corners of the sauce pan to free up and incorporate any dry ingredients that may not have mixed with the milk. Continue to whisk and break up any remaining lumps.
  4. Add the rest of the milk and the vanilla.  Whisk.
  5. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil and gently boil for 1 minute. (This entire step takes about 5 minutes.)

  6. Quickly pour into the four pudding cups. Let cool.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap a and refrigerate to chill.  Serve cold.
Kitchen Notes

This recipe actually yields a much darker chocolate pudding than is shown in the pictures.  I took these pictures with one of the first batches I made in which I used chocolate morsels rather than cocoa powder.  The cocoa powder resulting in a darker pudding and a rich chocolate flavor that I didn’t get from the morsels. So if you make this, don’t be surprised to see an almost black pudding that, when you taste it, screams chocolate!


Chile Powder – Of course you can use any chile powder you have, but after making quite a few batches of this pudding, I keep going back to the Chimayo red chile powder that I get from the Chimayo Chile Brothers, in northern New Mexico.  It’s a bit sweeter than most chile powders, making it nice for desserts.  The medium is spicy, but not “hot”, and blends well with the ginger and cinnamon.  No matter what chile powder you choose, I highly recommend using mild or medium. You want the flavor of the spice to complement the chocolate, without having the heat of the spice to overpower it.


Dairy – After trying several combinations of cornstarch, milk and cream, I found that the combination that yields the best texture is the one listed in the recipe: 3 Tbsp. cornstarch with 2 cups milk (whole or 2%).


Spices – The spices used in the Jamison's hot chocolate recipe are what inspired this pudding: ginger, cinnamon, and red chile.  I normally don’t use ginger with New Mexico red chile powder, but now that I’ve tried it, I like it.  Ginger, cinnamon and red chile is a great combo with chocolate!



So next time you want some serious chocolate with hit of spice, whip up this Chocolate Pudding, New Mexico Style. Your mouth will thank you for it.

Here are some more pudding you might enjoy:

Thai Tea Pudding

Sweet Kabocha Pudding

Matcha White Chocolate Pudding


This spicy chocolate pudding has been linked to the following blog hops:  Hearth & Soul  .



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66 Responses to “Chocolate Pudding, New Mexico Style and the Museum of International Folk Art”

  1. Kimber February 11, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    I stumbled across your blog after Googling “Japanese kites” as my husband and I just returned from a weekend in Santa Fe and were fortunate to be there during the International Folk Art Museum’s Japanese Kite exhibit! What a lucky coincidence – your recipes look divine! You have a new follower!

    • mj February 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      Kimber, thanks so much for saying hello!!!! I love hearing from new followers and SO glad you found me! The kite exhibit was pretty awesome wasn’t it? Looking forward to hearing from you again. Let me know if you want something special.

  2. Mary Porter Royle December 25, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    Just ordered some chile pepper from the website you mentioned. Going to try the pudding. I’ve been thinking about chile pepper and chocolate ever since I saw the movie “Chocolat” years ago. I will return and report.

    • mj December 26, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

      Thanks so much Mary! Every time I eat this pudding I think of “chocolat”. What a great movie! Please let me know how you like the pudding! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a Happy New Year!

  3. Zsuzsa October 20, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    Nice post Peach Lady.

  4. April @ The 21st Century Housewife October 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    What an amazing museum, MJ. I wish we could go – I love Amish quilts and my husband loves kites! I’ll have to add it to my list if we ever head to New Mexico.

    Your Chocolate Pudding looks delicious. I’m fascinated by the idea of chocolate and chili together. I’ll be featuring it as one of the Fall Treats in my Hearth and Soul post this week 🙂

    • mj October 14, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Thank you so much April! It is a great museum and I love that it gave me the inspiration for this pudding. Bobby and I can’t stop eating it. 🙂 Thanks for the feature!!!

  5. Asmita October 11, 2013 at 8:07 am #


  6. Reese October 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    So much to enjoy and to talk about from everything you share on this post, MJ! I know I am here for a delightful treat and some fun ‘conversations’. Chocolate and chili are a heavenly pair! I was at the Minnesota Science Museum early August when they had the Mayan exhibition and of course there was a small section on how the Mayan enjoyed their cocoa with chili pepper. I went back and made a big mug of hot cocoa with chili for myself. It was a hot summer night as I recall:) I’ve made various chocolate treats with chili, but have yet to try it with pudding. Your chocolate puddings sound like a great dessert to serve when there’s guests over the house. But first, I gotta make it for ourselves first. Am thinking to top it with some dark chocolate shavings too!!:)

  7. Helene D'Souza October 4, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Quilting takes lots of patience and good idea, I know how difficult it is.
    The second exhibition is so entertaining, I wish we could go and see these things.
    Of course the 3rd is my kind of field. =D
    I haven’t made a chocolate pudding in… I don’t remember.
    I hope to make it for sunday. =)

    • mj October 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Thanks Helene! Yes, quilting does take A LOT of patience! During my quilting days, my husband would comment “I don’t see how you can sit there and do it hour after hour.” It was actually quite relaxing. I hope you enjoy the pudding! I’ve been making batch after batch of it because Bobby won’t let me run out of it. 🙂

  8. Nami | Just One Cookbook October 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Chocolate pudding is always a nice treat and love NM style! 🙂 My mom is a quilter and she even went on quilt tour to Amish town. We have some Amish quilts at home too. Amazing color and work. And what a surprise to see traditional Japanese kites on your blog! 🙂

    • mj October 1, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      Thanks Nami! I’m so jealous of your Amish quilts. I would love one, but nowadays, they are so expensive, because of the popularity. We really enjoyed the kite exhibit. It was our first experience with Japanese kites.

  9. easyfoodsmith October 1, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    I can imagine how delicious this pudding must be…I just recently tried chili choco combo and I think it rocks 🙂

    • mj October 1, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

      Totally agree! I LOVE chocolate and chile!

  10. Giulietta | Alterkitchen September 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    I love the combination between chocolate and chili… and, adding all those other spices, makes this pudding amazing!!

    • mj October 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

      Thanks Giulia! Bobby and I think it’s pretty amazing as well. We’ve been eating it every night for 2 weeks. 🙂

  11. Raymund September 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm #

    This will definitely fix a good chocolate craving. Yum!

  12. Vicki Bensinger September 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    My husband and I went to Santa Fe once and we loved it. I’m not sure why we haven’t been back. The museum looks like it had some beautiful art as do most places in Santa Fe. Fun times.

    I love your version of New Mexican pudding – full of flavor.

  13. Carolyn Jung September 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    I can just imagine this being creamy and cold on the palate, then the hit of spice kicks in at the end. Mmmm, sounds divine.

  14. Hotly Spiced September 29, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    i love the look of all these quilts and it’s amazing to think they are so old yet still in such good condition. Your chocolate pudding looks beautiful and smooth and it must have lovely flavour with the addition of all those spices xx

  15. Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen September 29, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    I like the Japanese Kites exhibit!! Honestly, I’ve never tried pudding that is spicy before and this just makes me interested.

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  17. Gomo | September 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Wow, those kites are beautiful! They take me back to my childhood when my brothers and I used to make our own kites to fly. 🙂 The chocolate pudding looks pretty awesome too. I love a little bit of kick in my chocolate. The toughest part would be waiting for the pudding to chill!

    • mj September 29, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      How fun to make you’re own kites! Did you paint pictures on them? These paintings just blew me away! Totally agree that the wait it painstaking, but the cook always gets to lick the pot. 🙂

  18. sawsan@chef in disguise September 28, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    First of all thank you so much for sharing those breath taking pictures with us. I loved all the colors and pattern and I have to say that the kites are amazing.
    I love recipes that combine chocolate with spices.My current favorite is chocolate with cinnamon,cardamom and a touch of coffee. Now I have a new combo to look forward to trying

    • mj September 29, 2013 at 10:56 am #

      Thanks so much Sawsan! Bobby did a great job capturing the beauty of those kits, didn’t he? They were amazing! YUM – cinnamon, cardamom and coffee. I’m making another batch of pudding tomorrow. Sounds like a great combo to try out! Thanks!

  19. bellini September 28, 2013 at 2:53 am #

    Chocolate, cinnamon and a little background heat sounds perfect to me.

  20. Terra September 27, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Before my life got crazy, I had looked into classes to learn how to make quilts. I love quilts, there is so much love that goes into each one. Thank you for sharing all the lovely pictures. This pudding sounds freaking AWESOME!!! BUT you know I love anything with chili, or chili powder! Beautiful photos, Hugs, Terra

    • mj September 29, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Thanks so much Terra! I can say from experience that quilting is something you need to do when life is NOT busy! I quilted for about 7 to 8 years after getting married, than life got crazy and the quilting frame went into the garage and has been there ever since. I have a quilt top my mother made, so hopefully one day soon, I’ll turn it into a quilt. I hope you get to try the pudding! Bobby and I can’t get enough of it.

  21. Geraldine Saucier September 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

    The pudding looks delicious. I need to make it soon. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Thanks Geraldine! I hope you enjoy it!

  22. Minnie@thelady8home September 27, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    I do think Amish were more open to the modern world before they moved to the new world and closed their progressive window forever. I would not be surprised if they had some sort of trade relationships with China…or maybe a group broke away, landed in China, and THEN found their way back here? Who knows. History is always so fascinating. Lovely, lovely post, so enjoyed it.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Thanks so much Minnie! sounds like you had the same thoughts that I did. It was just very interesting to see the Chinese Lanterns.

  23. Jodee Weiland September 27, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    The exhibits look outstanding! Your recipe looks delicious! I like the idea of adding ginger and red chile. The spicy with the sweet always appeals to my taste buds.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      Thanks so much Jodee! I was really surprise at how well the New Mexico red chile was complemented by the ginger. Great flavors!

  24. Angie@Angie's Recipes September 27, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Those kits are really beautiful…too beautiful to fly them..
    The chocolate pudding looks fantastic.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      That’s exactly what I thought – too beautiful to fly! Thanks!

  25. Annette September 27, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    We came from dallas last spring and saw the Alexander Gerard exhibit. It was awesome! we also walked through the quilt exhibit and the chocolate exhibit.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Sorry I missed the Alexander Gerard exhibit. Thanks for dropping by!

  26. Swathi September 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    Delicious Love the spicy touch of cayenne in there. Eggless too yumm.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Thanks Swathi! After making this pudding several times, I’m not sure why some recipes call for eggs. It couldn’t get any creamier.

  27. Tessa September 26, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    I love that you added chili powder to the chocolate pudding! Chili powder and chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations!

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Mine too! Thanks!

  28. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) September 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    This post is so cool (and beautiful!)

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

      Thanks Kayle!

  29. Viviane Bauquet Farre - Food and Style September 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

    Delightful presentation, MJ! I like the wine glasses…

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Thanks Viaviane! Those are wine glasses from New Mexico wineries. I have a pretty large collection and love using them for desserts.

  30. Debra September 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

    This has been on my list for our NM trips but we just haven’t made it to the museum yet. I hope I can this year!!! Love the pudding (and the quilts and the kites). Great post, M.J.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

      Thanks Debra! I hope you get a chance to see it before the chocolate and Mate exhibit leaves.

  31. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz September 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Very cool museum and thanks for sharing so many pics. I saw the equivalent one in Phoenix years ago. And very cool the New World Cuisine exposition, that chocolate pudding sounds scrumptious with the spices.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne! I think those quilts travel around. Many, many years ago I saw a HUGE Amish quilt exhibit in Dallas. It was insane. Be sure to check out the link to the New World Exposition. Great information!

  32. Sissi September 26, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    It must have been a fascinating visit indeed. So unusual to see Japanese kites along the Amish quilts, but when one thinks about it, they do have a lot in common.
    The pudding sounds terrific! I haven’t made any dish where chile and chocolate are combined, but every time I had chile chocolates I loved them. Your dessert is beautiful and truly inspiring.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      Thanks Sissi! The kite exhibit was really exciting probably because is was so unusual to us. Bobby is a huge kite person so I think he could have stayed in that exhibit all day. of course, I could have spent all day with the quilts. 🙂 YOU would definitely enjoy this pudding!

  33. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles September 26, 2013 at 11:20 am #

    One of the things that attracts me most about Santa Fe is the art. These exhibits sound like perfect examples — incredible craftsmanship and I agree, that first Amish quilt is beautiful. But, I must confess, I would have been particularly excited about the histories of chocolate ;-). Wish I could have been there with you MJ! I’m thoroughly enjoying the thought (and look!) of your chile infused chocolate pudding enrobed in the flavors of autumn… so warming and just perfect for the fresher fall air that is moving through.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Thanks so much Kelly! I agree about the art in Santa Fe. After the Folk Art museum, we went to four art galleries. It was a great day!

  34. john@kitchenriffs September 26, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Sounds like a terrific museum. Thanks for the great review of your experiences there. And thanks for this great chocolate recipe, too! As you know, chocolate most definitely speaks to us. 😉 Terrific looking recipe. I’ve not heard of Chimayo Chile – I’ll have to check it out. Really fun post with super pictures – thanks so much.

    • mj September 27, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      Thanks John! We could have a chocolate overload with your chocolate cookies and this chocolate pudding. 🙂

  35. Diane Balch September 26, 2013 at 9:24 am #

    Great exhibit and I love the pudding. Pinning it.


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