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Chocolate Budino with Mint Whipped Cream
Chocolate Budino with Mint Whipped Cream Photos courtesy of Theo Chocolate and Jake Gartland

Much like whipped cream, chocolate-chip cookies and piping-hot apple pie, pudding is really best when made from scratch. Our go-to recipe is chocolate (of course) and often appears on the menu at Maria Hines’s Sicilian-inspired Agrodolce restaurant. At the new Seattle spot, the award-winning chef uses a blend of dark and milk chocolates from local Theo Chocolate to create her version of an utterly indulgent Italian budino (pudding). A cooling mint-laced whipped cream completes a sophisticated dessert that had us licking our spoons until the last bite.

Makes 4 (4-ounce) servings

Chocolate Budino

4½ ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped

4½ ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped

2¼ cups whole or 2% milk

¼ cup cornstarch

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Kosher salt


Mint Whipped Cream

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves

1. Make the budino: In a metal bowl set over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the dark chocolate with the milk chocolate and heat, stirring frequently, until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove the chocolate from the heat and cover to keep warm. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk ½ cup of the milk with the cornstarch until combined. In a large saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the milk-cornstarch mixture with the remaining 1¾ cups milk and slowly bring the mixture to a boil, whisking often. (The mixture will thicken slightly as it heats.)

3. Meanwhile, in a metal bowl set over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the eggs with the granulated sugar, whisking frequently until thick and pale. Gradually whisk ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper the yolks. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the remaining milk mixture and the melted chocolate until just combined. Whisk in the butter until melted, then season to taste with salt.

4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and divide among four 4-ounce ramekins. Cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled and set, about 2 hours.

5. Just before serving, make the mint whipped cream: In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Add the mint leaves to the cream to taste and continue whisking until firm peaks form. Top each budino with a dollop of the whipped cream and serve immediately.

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