This February, we’re celebrating chocolate, that seductively rich ingredient that makes our days and desserts just a little bit sweeter. Although it often gets a bad rap, chocolate is now being heavily researched for potential health benefits from its high concentration of phenols and antioxidants. While chocolate is delicious all on its own, combining it with dairy products like milk and yogurt can produce desserts that are worth writing home about. Take for instance this chocolate budino, an Italian version of a chocolate pudding. Cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate combine with milk and whipping cream to create a luscious pudding that is rich in flavor and silky in texture. The milk provides a sweetened flavor and protein which enhances the stability of the pudding, while the heavy whipping cream adds a thick and creamy mouthfeel. This chocolate budino is a decadent dessert that can be made ahead and is sure to impress your fellow chocolate lovers. Give it a try and check The Wood and Spoon for some topping ideas to customize this special dessert.
For the budino:
- 1-1/4 cup (300 mL) whole milk
- 1/3 cup (80 mL) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/3 cup (30 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (50 gm) sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
To prepare the budino:
- Combine one cup of the whole milk and the heavy cream in a 6-quart saucepan on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and sugar. Add the egg yolks and the remaining milk, whisking to combine.
- Once the milk and cream on the stovetop are warmed and barely steaming, carefully remove one cup of the mixture and add it to the cornstarch mixture, whisking quickly all the while. Once combined, add the cornstarch and milk mixture back to the saucepan on the stove, whisking together constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. You’ll want the mixture to become a viscous consistency, similar to the texture of a creamy salad dressing.
- Turn the heat to low and add in the salt, chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Whisk quickly to combine and melt the chocolate and then remove from the heat immediately. Pour into four heat-safe containers and place a small sheet of plastic wrap on top so that a skin does not form on the top of the pudding.
To prepare the whipped cream:
- Place the cold cream in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until slightly thickened and frothy, then add the sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat just until medium stiff peaks form. Keep in the fridge until you plan to serve the budino.
Kate Wood is a clinical dietitian by day, and by night, she liberally practices her “everything in moderation” motto by baking and experimenting with new recipes and flavors. She shares her recipes on her blog The Wood and Spoon. Follow her blog and find her on Instagram.