I like to call it my Italian chocolate budino but it’s more like a very lush chocolate pudding. Budinos have more of a jello consistency while this recipe delivers one of the most delicious stove top puddings I ever encountered. I came across this recipe years ago, in the LA Times, courtesy of Vincenti’s Restaurant in Brentwood and it caught my eye for the counter intuitiveness of its preparation.
Essentially a custard, the milk gets added cold and the eggs are tempered as the very last step. After making it, I realized that the odd sequencing is what contributes to the silkiness of the pudding – as it doesn’t sit on the heat for too long, the chances of overcooking it or making it grainy while waiting for it to thicken are eliminated. Be as it may, I made some minor adjustments and I still use this recipe for a variety of purposes: a cake or cookie filling as well as served on its own.
RECIPE – Serves 6
7 oz semi-sweet chocolate (I use Valrhona Pur Caraibe 66%), cut in small chunks
4 T cornstarch
6 T + 1 ts sugar
2 1/3 C whole milk
3 1/2 T butter
2 egg yolks
- In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate with 2 T of water. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Set aside.
- In another saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and sugar. Whisk in the cold milk and melted chocolate. If it looks like a clumpy mess, don’t worry – it will come together as you cook it. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until creamy – about 2/3 minutes. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until you feel it thickening.
- Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the butter. Temper the yolks in a separate bowl by whisking a bit of the chocolate mixture into the egg bowl and then add the egg mixture back to the pan and whisk vigorously.
- Should the pudding look a bit grainy, strain it through a chinois or a sieve but I bet you will not need to.
- Pour or spoon quickly into ramekins and cover each one with plastic, making sure the plastic touches the budino to prevent a layer of “skin” from forming.
- Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. It won’t be terribly sweet so you might want to serve it with sweetened whipped cream.