Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Biscotti Pudding or Budino di Gianduia a decadent christmas dessert

           Hello my good people, it's Friday December 23rd and my christmas shopping is almost done, what can I say?  I'm a "last minute" shopper I mean let's face it in this economy some of us have no choice but to wait.  Tomorrow I'll be one of the thousands standing in line in one of those popular department stores waiting to pay for last minute gift items and if it's anything like today it means I'll be sweating as Walmart seemed not to have the air conditioning on or at least the one I was in, (oh right I didn't mention it was eighty degrees here that felt more like ninety, I miss New York!), then I'll run home and cook and although every year I promise myself the next year will be different, it turns out the same, such is my life.  In the end I feel blessed that I can afford to shop, mostly I feel blessed I have people I love around me to share christmas with and cook christmas dinner for.
           As promised I have another recipe for you which comes in the form of dessert, I was looking for something different and chocolatey and boy did I find it, it's called "Budino di Gianduia" or "chocolate biscotti pudding"  I prepared it for Thanksgiving and once I took the first bite my palate was transcended by the delicate sweet flavors of the chocolate and biscotti, the pine nuts offered a light crunch all this combined  with the unctuous texture prompted me to close my eyes and allowed me a brief trip to heaven... It's no exaggeration try it and you'll see, now the actual recipe for Budino calls for hazelnuts, but I was pressed for time and couldn't seem to find them, so I substituted them for pine nuts which are also used in Italian dishes.  Below find the recipe for Budino di Gianduia serve it to your family/guests and have a happy, healthy christmas, take care and enjoy!

Budino di Gianduia 

2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1¼ cups heavy cream, plus more for whipped topping
1 cup milk
1½ cups plain biscotti, coarsely hand-crumbled
3½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup skinned hazelnuts or pine nuts roasted finely chopped
⅓ cup cocoa powder, sifted

    Line a 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap, make it a larger piece so that it hangs over the pie plate,
 Whisk the eggs with the sugar in a bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch until no lumps are seen Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan, set it over low heat, and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat, and slowly pour about 1 cup of the hot milk-cream into the egg bowl, whisking steadily, to temper the eggs. When blended, slowly pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan of milk and cream, again whisking constantly. Put the pan back over medium-low heat, and whisk steadily until the custard heats and thickens. Don't let it boil, it should bubble occasionally. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until it is thick. Remove from heat, and stir in the crumbled biscotti, chopped chocolate, nuts, and cocoa powder. Stir until the chocolate has melted and all the ingredients are evenly blended. Pour the custard into the pie plate, and cover with plastic wrap, laying it directly on the top of the pudding. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

To serve, remove the top sheet of plastic, invert the budino onto a plate, and cut into wedges. Top with unsweetened whipped cream and cocoa powder or nuts or crumbled biscotti, enjoy!