Recipe: Italian chocolate budino from the New York restaurant Il Buco is a particularly nice little pudding

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Part of this Italian chocolate pudding from “Il Buco Stories & Recipes” is in making caramel, which requires a heavy saucepan. Give it time to turn golden brown, then pour a mixture of hot cream and milk into it. Bittersweet chocolate goes in next, and although it melts, it may not emulsify completely. You can strain out the chocolate pieces or leave them in there. Then add egg yolks, scoop the mixture into large casserole dishes and bake in a double boiler. When they cool, the puddings have a two-layer texture: pudding on the bottom that thickens but doesn’t set as it cools, and a layer of chocolate on top that has a light brownie texture. The puddings are very appealing. Put on crème fraiche or whipped cream before serving.

Butter (for the casserole dishes or cups)
2 Cups of whole milk
Cups of cream
2 Teaspoon of instant espresso powder
½ a teaspoon of salt
½ Vanilla pod
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoon of water
Ounces of bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
6th egg yolk

1. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 7 casserole dishes or pudding cups (6 ounces or 3/4 cup capacity each). Set them in a skillet big enough to hold with space around them. You will also need hot water to pour the cups before you bake them. So set up a kettle with water (it doesn’t have to come to a boil).

2. Mix the milk, cream, espresso powder and salt in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture has a bubble or two around the edges. Take off the stove. Lift out the vanilla pod. (Rinse it off later, let it dry, and store it in your sugar cane.)

3. In another heavy-based saucepan, heat 2/3 cup sugar and water over low heat without stirring, but shake the pan a little until it dissolves. Turn up the heat slightly and continue cooking until it turns a golden caramel color. This can take 6 to 8 minutes. If the edges of the sugar are starting to brown but the center is pale, take the pan and shake it lightly, but don’t stir to mix the brown edges with the center.

4. Slowly stir the milk mixture into the caramel – it bubbles vigorously – and keep beating over medium heat until the caramel dissolves.

5. Stir in the chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until it melts completely. Take off the stove. (You may see chocolate stains that you can strain or leave in if you like.)

6. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons until a mixture is formed. Slowly stir 1 cup of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolk, then stir this mixture into the saucepan until smooth.

7. Scoop the mixture into the 7 cups. Pour enough hot water around the cups to reach halfway up the sides. Cover the cups with a sheet of foil.

8. Place in the oven and bake for 70 minutes or until the puddings are just set. Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool down. Remove the cups from the pan, wipe the bottom and cool. Serve with crème fraiche or whipped cream.

Sheryl Julian. Adapted from “Il Buco: Stories & Recipes”

Power 7

Part of this Italian chocolate pudding from “Il Buco Stories & Recipes” is in making caramel, which requires a heavy saucepan. Give it time to turn golden brown, then pour a mixture of hot cream and milk into it. Bittersweet chocolate goes in next, and although it melts, it may not emulsify completely. You can strain out the chocolate pieces or leave them in there. Then add egg yolks, scoop the mixture into large casserole dishes and bake in a double boiler. When they cool, the puddings have a two-layer texture: pudding on the bottom that thickens but doesn’t set as it cools, and a layer of chocolate on top that has a light brownie texture. The puddings are very appealing. Put on crème fraiche or whipped cream before serving.

Butter (for the casserole dishes or cups)
2 Cups of whole milk
Cups of cream
2 Teaspoon of instant espresso powder
½ a teaspoon of salt
½ Vanilla pod
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 Tablespoon of water
Ounces of bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
6th egg yolk

1. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 7 casserole dishes or pudding cups (6 ounces or 3/4 cup capacity each). Set them in a skillet big enough to hold with space around them. You will also need hot water to pour the cups before you bake them. So set up a kettle with water (it doesn’t have to come to a boil).

2. Mix the milk, cream, espresso powder and salt in a saucepan. Split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture has a bubble or two around the edges. Take off the stove. Lift out the vanilla pod. (Rinse it off later, let it dry, and store it in your sugar cane.)

3. In another heavy-based saucepan, heat 2/3 cup sugar and water over low heat without stirring, but shake the pan a little until it dissolves. Increase the heat slightly and continue cooking until it turns a golden caramel color. This can take 6 to 8 minutes. If the edges of the sugar are starting to brown but the center is pale, take the pan and shake it lightly, but don’t stir to mix the brown edges with the center.

4. Slowly stir the milk mixture into the caramel – it bubbles vigorously – and keep beating over medium heat until the caramel dissolves.

5. Stir in the chocolate. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until it melts completely. Take off the stove. (You may see chocolate stains that you can strain or leave in if you like.)

6. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons until a mixture is formed. Slowly stir 1 cup of the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolk, then stir this mixture into the saucepan until smooth.

7. Scoop the mixture into the 7 cups. Pour enough hot water around the cups to reach halfway up the sides. Cover the cups with a sheet of foil.

8. Place in the oven and bake for 70 minutes or until the puddings are just set. Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool down. Remove the cups from the pan, wipe the bottom and cool. Serve with crème fraiche or whipped cream. Sheryl Julian. Adapted from “Il Buco: Stories & Recipes”

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