Chocolate Budino: Three Ways (and Our Time in Chicago!)

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

A few weeks ago, Brett and I traveled to Chicago to celebrate my 29-ish (ok, 30th) birthday. The weekend was packed with SO MUCH FUN AND DELICIOUSNESS that I knew I just had to tell you guys all about it. Oh, and we’re going to talk about chocolate budino too, so happy birthday to everyone apparently. 

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Have you been to Chicago? It’s literally the best. The town is clean and beautiful with amazing restaurants, architecture, and shopping to boot. If cool food, professional sports, and really nice locals are your thing, Chicago is where it’s at.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

We stayed downtown at the Loews Hotel and spent pretty much every waking moment eating and navigating the city. Although the shopping and tourist attractions were all pretty stellar, the hands-down highlight was the architecture tour along the river. Taking in the city from a boat on a sunny day was a treat I won’t soon forget.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Another day was spent with my dearest friend, Trisha, and her husband who drove from Indianapolis to surprise me for my b-day! This girl has a brand new baby boy at home and still made the trek to hug my neck and celebrate- isn’t that golden? We had a few meals, shopped, and experienced the view from the 96th floor of the John Hancock building during our time together. Let’s raise a glass to the besties that love us well. 

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

In the evenings, we hung out with my brother, Blake, who lives in downtown Chicago. While together, we visited some of my very favorite restaurants in the city and spared no calorie to make sure that we enjoyed the full culinary experience. My brother is a super adventurous eater and really appreciates good food, so it was next-level amazing to have him join our dining squad. 

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

On our last day in Chicago, we had brunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Little Goat Diner, and went to see the Broadway musical Hamilton. If theatre or American history or hip-hop or ridiculous musical talent is your thing, THIS SHOW IS FOR YOU. I laughed, I cried, I danced in my seat- this show literally blew my mind and I’m dying to go again. If you have the opportunity to see this show, DOOOO IT.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com Where to eat and stay and play and do in Chicago! find the restaurant bar bakery and scenic must sees in the Windy City.

Be sure to check out my list of Chicago faves below. In a city with a thousand wonderful things to do, I hope you’ll make time for at least one or two of these on your next trip.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

While in Chicago, we ate dinner at Monteverde, a 2017 James Beard Award winning chef’s restaurant. We ordered things like pesto gnocchi and pumpkin ravioli, but the winner for me was the butterscotch budino. If you’re not familiar, budino is basically a rich Italian take on pudding, sometimes smooth and creamy like a custard, other times light and eggy like a souffle. Always wanting to appease my pudding-loving husband, I started tinkering with a chocolate budino recipe a few months ago, and I am thrilled to share the outcome with you today.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

This chocolate budino is not your average Snack Pack. There’s no artificial chocolate powder flavor here; this thing doesn’t taste like a Yoo-Hoo. This version of chocolate budino tastes like CHOCOLATE- rich and buttery with the perfect amount of sweetness, but otherwise decidedly chocolate in flavor. Making chocolate budino is quite similar to making a homemade pudding, and once you know the base recipe there are three different topping variations that you can try. Seriously, I see this coming to an intimate dinner party near you.

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

To make the chocolate budino, we start at the stove. Gently heat some whole milk and cream while you mix together the dry ingredients- cocoa powder, cornstarch, and sugar. A few egg yolks are whisked into the dry ingredients before the steaming dairy is added to the mix. We add the hot liquids in a slow and careful stream, whisking vigorously the whole time to ensure that we don’t scramble our egg yolks in the process. Once the milk and cream have been added, we pour the whole lot of it back into the saucepan on the stove and cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture has thickened slightly to the consistency of a thick and creamy salad dressing. Next, we lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients of chocolate, salt, vanilla, and butter, stirring to combine. Immediately divvy the pudding into small heat-safe containers and rest a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of each one to make sure that the pudding doesn’t form a skin (yuck). 

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

This chocolate budino can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge just until the time of serving. I like to let mine warm up on the counter for a few minutes prior to serving so that you can realllllly taste the chocolate. While they sit out, you can begin assembling the toppings for these treats! Fresh whipped cream is a must, but from there you have some choices to make. I’ve included instructions for a berry topping, a chocolate crumble (adapted from this cake!), and hazelnut praline. All options are terrific, so pick how you want your chocolate budino and get to work! You won’t be disappointed. 

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Thanks for always letting me jabber on about desserts and traveling. If you have any must-see spots in Chicago, PLEASE, tell me about them! And if there’s another city you think I need to eat my way through, please inform me so that I can begin negotiations with Brett. Ha! Enjoy these chocolate budinos and cheers to you!

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Where We Ate in Chicago:

Little Goat Diner

My favorite dish (This Little Piggy Went To China) is from here!

Monteverde

Italian cuisine with house-made pasta and loads of global influence. 

Girl and the Goat

Global food served in a family-style setting.

Au Cheval

The best burger and garlic fries in Chicago.

Avec

Rustic Mediterranean small plates and home of the best Chorizo-stuffed dates.

Bavette’s

A classic steakhouse with French flair.

Nico Osteria

A daily-changed menu serving housemade pasta and Italian seafood.

Fat Rice

A mix of Asian, African, and Indian cuisine served in the COOLEST atmosphere. 

Pequod’s

Perfect Chicago deep-dish pizza. We called ahead and ordered carry-out to avoid a wait! 

The Purple Pig

Highly acclaimed Chicago favorite serving New American cuisine in a shared-plate atmosphere.

RL Restaurant

American food served in a unique club atmosphere. 

Sweet Mandy B’s

Buy as many cookies as you can fit in your carry-on.

Floriole

A fantastic bakery with some of the flakiest, most buttery pasties I’ve ever had. 

 

Where We Drank in Chicago:

Three Dots and A Dash

The coolest tiki lounge in The Loop!

The Signature Lounge

Cocktails from the 96th floor of the John Hancock Building!

Velvet Hour

A moody bar with a speak-easy vibe.

Cindy’s Rooftop

My favorite spot for day drinking in Chicago.

Intelligentsia Coffee

A Chicago-born coffee company with a terrific brew.

Lost Lake

A tiki bar with and island aesthetic.

 

Things We Did in Chicago:

Millenium Park to check out The Bean!

Shopping on Michigan Ave.

River architecture tour

Hamilton– the best broadway show I’ve ever seen.

Shopping on Armitage

Took in the view from the top of the John Hancock Building

 

Places I’m Dying to Try Next Time in Chicago:

Three Arts Club Cafe

Bohemian House

Velvet Taco

Big Star Tacos

Publican Quality Meats

Milk Room

 

For more posts like this, check out:

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Banana Coconut Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Coffee Almond Scones and Our Time in Portland

BBC Popsicles and Our Time in St. Barth’s

 

Print

Chocolate Budino: Three Ways

Chocolate Budino Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a rich chocolate Italian pudding with three different flavor and topping variations. Chocolate crumble, hazelnut, and fresh berries! Make the creamy dessert ahead of time and store in the fridge until you're ready to top with whipped cream and nutty crumbly toppings. Find the recipe and how to for this custard based dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

Chocolate budino, a rich pudding-like dessert, can be prepared in three ways- with a chocolate crumble, with a berry topping, or with a hazelnut praline!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 90
  • Yield: 4

Ingredients

For the budino:

  • 1-1/4 cup (300 mL) whole milk
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup (30 gm) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (50 gm) sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the chocolate crumble topping:

  • ¼ cup (55 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (60 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 tablespoon water

For the berry topping:

  • 1 cup mixed berries (I prefer blackberries and raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the hazelnut praline:

  • ¼ cup (40 gm) chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter, melted

Instructions

To prepare the budino:

  1. Combine one cup of the whole milk and the heavy cream in a 6-quart saucepan on the stove. Turn the heat to medium-low while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa powder and sugar. Add the egg yolks and the remaining milk, whisking to combine.
  3. Once the milk and cream on the stovetop are warmed and barely steaming, carefully remove one cup of the mixture and add it to the cornstarch mixture, whisking quickly all the while. Once combined, add the cornstarch and milk mixture back to the saucepan on the stove, whisking together constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. You’ll want the mixture to become a viscous consistency, similar to the texture of a creamy salad dressing. 
  4. Turn the heat to low and add in the salt, chocolate, butter, and vanilla. Whisk quickly to combine and melt the chocolate and then remove from the heat immediately. Pour into four heat-safe containers and place a small sheet of plastic wrap on top so that a skin does not form on the top of the pudding.

To prepare the whipped cream:

  1. Place the cold cream in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed until slightly thickened and frothy, then add the sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat just until medium stiff peaks form. Keep in the fridge until you plan to serve the budino.

To prepare the chocolate crumble topping:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar on medium low speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and beat on low until large crumbs begin to form. Chill the crumbs in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set the crumbs.
  3. Spread the crumbs out onto a quarter sheet pan and bake in the oven, tossing occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until crumbs are baked and set. All to cool completely.

To prepare the berry topping:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Mash larger berries to release juices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and is bubbling. Remove from heat and cool completely.

To prepare the hazelnut praline:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine all three ingredients and spread out on a small sheet pan.
  3. Bake for about 5 minutes, then stir and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes. The nuts should be fragrant and crunchy with melted sugar. Allow to cool completely.

Notes

  • If desired, add 1/4 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread) to the pudding.
  • As an alternative to the hazelnut praline, consider making cookies to top the pudding! Check out my recipe for butter pecan cookies. Substitute hazelnuts for pecans and crumble baked and cooled cookies over top of the pudding.
  • Switch out these toppings for some of your favorites. Salted caramel, pretzels, shortbread cookies, toffee sauce and bananas, and any other number of items would taste delicious here! Change according to your preferences.

Recipe for the budino adapted from Nigella Lawson

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14 Comments
  • Natalie
    Reply

    I made this recipe once about a month ago and I have been dying to make it again ever since! I love how rich it is, really satisfies the chocolate craving. I made the hazelnut praline last time and I think I will make it again. My husband loves it too and I was surprised by how easy the recipe actually was. Thanks for sharing.

    August 7, 2018 at 1:40 PM
  • Bill
    Reply

    Where did you get the serving dish for the bisoño?

    January 30, 2018 at 11:35 AM
  • Looks like I’m a little late on this article but me and my mom made the budino for my sister’s birthday and it was a smash hit. Thanks for the recipe:)

    January 20, 2018 at 7:21 PM
  • Desserts and traveling are definitely two of the best things in life, so I was absolutely happy to hear you “jabber” about them both. Happy (probably very belated0 birthday! What a perfect city to celebrate. I hadn’t heard of budino before, but now I must make these beautiful little chocolatey cups immediately!

    November 17, 2017 at 9:09 AM
  • This made me so hungry for chocolate (budino is SAH GOOD!), gnocchi, and deep dish pizza. Looks like you had a blast for your big 30th birthday – Cheers!

    cbeatsblog.com

    November 16, 2017 at 5:45 PM
  • Brian Watson
    Reply

    Looks delicious.

    If you need a culinary adventure, come to Seattle!

    November 16, 2017 at 7:36 AM

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