This is a rich chocolate budino recipe that’s thickened only with eggs (no cornstarch or gelatin). It’s a stiff Italian pudding, just sweet enough to mellow the bitter cocoa. Top with espresso cream and a pinch of crunchy salt.
This chocolate budino is pure decadence. It’s like eating the center of a chocolate truffle-- rich, smooth, intense. Some might say the budino is so intense, you don’t need much to get your fill. That’s probably true, but as someone who is completely obsessed with all things dark chocolate, I just can’t get enough of this chocolate budino recipe.
It’s alarmingly easy and quick to make. To be honest, I kind of want a recipe this good to be more work. I need a bigger hurdle to keep me from living off of it. Because if there's chocolate budino in the fridge, it’s all I can think about. The luscious, thick texture. Deep chocolate flavor. Just enough sugar to round out the bitter cocoa. I want spoonful after truffled spoonful of chocolate budino. If you’re like me and have zero self control around chocolate, consider yourself warned.
What is budino?
Budino is the Italian word for pudding. There’s nothing necessarily unique about budino-- the term applies to a wide range of pudding styles: stovetop, baked, spoonable, stiff. I refer to this specific recipe as a chocolate budino because the rich, truffled consistency is similar to a chocolate budino I’ve had from an Italian restaurant.
chocolate budino: a ganache-pudding baby
Most stovetop puddings are thickened with gelatin or some form of starch, which will make them thick enough to spoon but not very stiff. This particular chocolate budino recipe is different. It’s not soft like a pudding snack. It’s firm, velvety, decadent.
I like to think of it as the child of a pudding and a ganache. That’s essentially how it’s made, after all. A hot custard, thickened only with eggs (no starch or gelatin) is poured over chopped chocolate. The heat melts the chocolate, and the mixture is whisked until smooth. It’s poured into jars and chilled until firm and spoonable. When warm, it will resemble a thick chocolate sauce, but once its set in the refrigerator it will be much firmer. Truffled.
what you need for this chocolate budino recipe:
- Dark chocolate
- Milk chocolate
- Heavy cream
- Egg yolks
- Brown sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- Powdered sugar (for the whipped cream)
- Espresso powder (for the whipped cream)
how to make chocolate budino:
- Gently heat cream, milk, yolks, sugar, cocoa and salt until thickened.
- Place chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl.
- Strain hot custard over chocolate (to remove any small bits of egg).
- Let sit a few minutes (the heat will melt the chocolate).
- Add vanilla, stir until smooth.
- Pour into six to eight small jars.
- Cover and chill until set, about 3 hours.
- Make espresso whipped cream, dollop on top with flaky salt.
recipe tips, substitutions and variations:
- Heat the custard slowly, and whisk nearly constantly as it begins to thicken. It can go from just starting to thicken to almost boiling-- which will give a grainy custard at best, scrambled chocolate eggs at worst.
- Make sure to really chop the chocolate into fine pieces. If the chunks are too large, they may not melt completely and it's tricky to reheat. If you do have a few unmelted chunks, just fish them out and discard (eat).
- dark chocolate budino: For super dark chocolate bitter flavor, use all bittersweet chocolate and no milk chocolate.
- milk chocolate budino: Use all milk chocolate (8 oz total) in the recipe for a sweet, extra silky budino.
- extra rich: Use all heavy cream and no milk for a super rich, luscious texture.
- espresso budino: For extra complexity, throw in 1 tsp espresso powder with the cream.
This chocolate budino recipe is really flexible. If you want less, it can easily be halved to make four small jars. Same with doubled.
It will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 5 days. The budino does not freeze well.
more chocolate desserts to try:Print
This decadent chocolate budino tastes like the center of a chocolate truffle: rich, silky smooth, and luscious. Top with espresso cream and a pinch of crunchy salt!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 8
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
- 6 oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 2 oz finely chopped milk chocolate
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Espresso cream, recipe below
- Flaky salt, for finishing
- Shaved chocolate, for finishing
- 1 ½ tsp instant espresso powder
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- ½ cup cold heavy cream
- Place chocolate and butter in a large bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream, milk, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gently cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 8- 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl with chocolate and let sit a few minutes.
- Add vanilla; stir until all of the chocolate is melted and the budino is well mixed. Divide into 8 small (4 oz) jars and refrigerate until chilled and set, about 3 hours.
- Serve chilled with a dollop of espresso cream and pinch of flaky salt and chocolate shavings.
- Combine espresso powder and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Pour in about half of the cream and whisk until smooth (espresso powder may not fully dissolve yet). Add remaining cream.
- Beat with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed until soft, billowy peaks form, 3- 4 minutes. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to a day. Re-whip, briefly, if needed.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Serving Size: ⅛ of recipe
- Calories: 376
- Sugar: 12g
- Sodium: 118mg
- Fat: 30g
- Saturated Fat: 18g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10.3g
- Trans Fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrates: 19g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 7.7g
- Cholesterol: 181mg
Keywords: chocolate budino