The word budino means custard or pudding in Italian. Rich and creamy, this already ethereal dessert is made even better when topped with olive oil and a flaky, crunchy sea salt such as Maldon.
Serves 8—Recipe adapted from Jon & Vinny’s, Los Angeles, California
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (1 3/4 cups)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided use
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 1/2 cups milk, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Flaky sea salt, for serving
In a double boiler or small heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the chocolate and butter and cook, stirring frequently, until almost completely melted. Turn off the stove but leave the mixture over the warm water while you prepare the rest of the budino.
In a large bowl, whisk the cornstarch, cocoa powder, and half of the sugar. Add the eggs and yolks, whisking thoroughly to combine. Continue whisking while drizzling in 1/2 cup of milk, then set the bowl and whisk aside.
In a medium pot, combine the remaining 4 cups of milk, all of the salt, and the remaining half of the sugar; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, quickly whisk one-third of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. Then, return all of the egg mixture to the pot. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly, until the budino has thickened and the whisk leaves traces along the surface, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat; whisk in the melted chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large container and or transfer to a serving dish (or dishes). Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the budino. (This prevents it from forming a “skin.”) Refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.