Chocolate pudding…..for me, another quintessential comfort food. As a little girl, I remember it being a favorite dessert. This is a bit more sophisticated with the addition of some cinnamon and toasted pine nuts. Some recipes will yield a pudding that has a soft, loose consistency. This one makes a dense, rich, and intensely chocolate dessert. It comes from the book Mario Batali Holiday Food.
Sharing Italian customs, as well as recipes, is something I’ve wanted to do with this blog. But, I have to admit, that to share or not to share this next custom with you has caused me a bit of anxiety. It’s something I’ve never been aware of, and it was a bit shocking to me….even a little disturbing. (Do I have your attention yet?) I’ve gone back and forth and finally decided….I’ll just go for it. Learning about different cultures is good, right??
The Italian name for this dessert is Sanguinaccio (sahn-gwee-NAHT-choh) which means “blood sausage” or “black pudding”. In Italy it was traditionally served in the winter, when pigs are usually slaughtered. (Stay with me, please.) The key element in the traditional recipe is the “sangue” (SANG-weh), which is the blood of a freshly slaughtered pig, used, I believe, to thicken the pudding. (Have I lost you….Are you still here?)
Now, before you click the “close” button, never again to return to my blog, let me assure you that what I’m sharing with you today is not a totally authentic recipe. It contains no pig’s blood and absolutely no pork products of any kind!! (Aren’t you relieved!) If there are any of you courageous enough, though, you can read more about this custom and see a more traditional recipe here or here. I can’t speak for the traditional version, having never had it, but this recipe is a rich and delicious chocolate pudding…. one worth trying.
The first thing to do for this recipe is toast the pine nuts. You can bake them on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes or in a dry skillet for a few minutes, watching them closely.
After they’ve toasted, set them aside to cool. Mix together the cocoa, flour, and sugar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in a little of the milk to form a paste, then add the rest of the milk. It will make a thin batter.