Pudding is usually thought of as a kids’ food, which you get either in little snack cups or by mixing envelopes of powder on your stovetop.  But, if you’re willing to put in a little effort, you can make pudding from scratch and turn it into a rather elegant and delicious dessert.  We came across a recipe for chocolate pudding – or rather budino, an Italian-style custard – in Elle magazine recently and decided to give it a try.  It comes from the Missoni family, who are more known for their eccentric knitwear patterns but have also recently published a cookbook of Italian dishes.  We thought this pudding seemed interesting in the shape it takes when served and the simplicity of its ingredients, so we decided to cook up our own version.

To make this, you’ll need:

  • A pound of dark chocolate
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • A quart of milk
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • Chopped walnuts
  • A pint of whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate sauce

The very first thing you’ll need to do is finely chop up all your chocolate.


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Then stir together 1 1/4 cups of sugar with a cup of flour in a bowl, and in a second bowl measure out all of your milk and gradually whisk in the sugar and flour.


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Place a fine mesh sieve over a large, deep saucepan and pour in your milk mixture.




Warm the pan over medium heat, then cut up 7 ounces of butter (that should be one whole stick and 3/4 of the second stick) and add that in.




Then whisk in your chocolate until it and your butter are melted.




Turn the heat down to low and whisk the mixture constantly while it thickens.  Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature, and when it reaches 212°F keep whisking for another 7 minutes.




Then take it off the heat – it should be pretty thick by this point – and use a spatula to mix in 1/3 cup of walnuts.




Pour the pudding into a cooled nonstick Bundt pan (you can put it in the fridge while you’re cooking) and smooth out the top.  Let it sit out until it’s at room temperature, then cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.




Meanwhile, make some whipped cream by pouring all of your cream into a stand mixer and whipping it on a medium-high speed until it starts to get fluffy.  Add in 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and continue to beat it until you have a light, airy mixture.


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Once the pudding is ready to come out of the fridge, place a large plate on top of the Bundt pan.  Hold everything together tightly, flip the pan over, and then slide out the pudding.




Pour on some chocolate sauce and sprinkle it with more walnuts, then pile the whipped cream into the center.




Now you can cut it into slices and serve it!




OK, we’ll admit that this recipe is a little more involved than pudding cups or Jello mixes – but take a look at the magnificent creation you’ll have once your pudding is completely chilled and assembled.  It’s an impressive ring of chocolatey goodness that you can easily cut into individual servings.  It’s almost like a pudding cake, and you can proudly say you made it yourself.  So if you’re looking for an interesting take on a classic dessert, this budino is sure to be a tasty hit.