ITALIAN CHOCOLATE BUDINO

Chocolate Budino

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

  1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the chocolate with 2 T of water. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. Set aside.
  2. 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.

    The boring part - whisking

  3. 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.

    In goes the butter

  4. Should the pudding look a bit grainy, strain it through a chinois or a sieve but I bet you will not need to.Eggs are standing by
  5. 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.

    Finally found a use for all those yogurt jars

  6. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. It won’t be terribly sweet so you might want to serve it with sweetened whipped cream.
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